Many have seen this case in the media over the years and followed it. However we may not have looked at it in its entirety
This case fascinates me because it seems to be a classic example of the stupidity of parents (in this case it seems the stupidity was initiated by the mom) who cannot rise above the pettiness of their squibbles over the child in the best interests of the child. It is also an example where the parents started out very rationally and logically but then things went downhill from there. This case is also a classic example where the child was a football, treated as such not only by the parents but also by the courts. It also seems to be an example where as far as custody of daughter is concerned, a woman does not need to resort to false allegations, helping daughter grow up during puberty is enough. Finally i think this case clearly shows that parents should not expect the courts to sort out their family problems for them but try their best to work out solutions themselves. Unfortunately divorce destroys the mind of both parents and they cannot talk and reason rationally with each other any more. This case also shows that Indian courts and law do not give two hoots about joint custody, the LAWS NEED TO CHANGE. In this particular case an order of joint custody was challenged and overturned in a very short period of time and this violation of justice never came up in any of the SC proceedings at all.
I have attached the relevant judgements here but here is a summary that proves my above points
1. Marriage dissolved by mutual consent in 1999
2. Both parents agree to be joint guardians and custodians with child shifting alternate weeks between both parents — STARTED OUT REALLY WELL, NO FALSE ALLEGATIONS
3. Mommy soon after marries Anil Kumble and starts filing in family court for permanent custody and for taking child abroad, possibly for cricket matches — WHAT HAPPENED, AGREES IN APRIL 1999 FOR JOINT AND IN A FEW MONTHS FILES FOR PERMANENT CUSTODY??
4. Family court agrees for child being taken abroad with certain conditions but does not change custody decree
5. Mom challenges family court order in HC who gives custody for one year to mom and visitation to Dad Jahgirdar–THIS IS WHEN THINGS START GOING DOWNHILL…..DID THE HC REALIZE THE IMPLICATIONS OF MODIFYING THE CUSTODY ORDER ON DAD?
6. Jahgirdar and mom each file for sole custody in family court and appeals HC order in Supreme court
7. In April 2001, SC decides not to overturn HC judgement, orders family court to decide expeditiously in 4 months and orders family court to not be influenced by the HC order which SC was not convinced was in the best interests of the child–IF SO WHY DID SC NOT OVERTURN IT, DOES IT EXPECT THE FAMILY COURT TO OVERTURN THE JUDGEMENT OF A HIGHER COURT?? DOES NOT MAKE SENSE
8. Family court in April 2002 gives custody to dad and visitation rights to mommy
9. In dec 2002 HC on appeal by mom gave custody to mom and visitation rights to dad
10. Dad appealed in SC again, In Jan 2004, SC did not overrule HC and felt that since child was near puberty being with mom was best. It however said that when mommy traveled abroad, child should stay with father.
11. Since then father has been fighting for custody in family courts.
12. In 2007 something happened during a visitation which led to the daughter filing a police complaint against the dad Jahgirdar (dad claims it is a false complaint) apprehending a threat to her life. read the news article here
13. Further the wife got a stay from the HC against permanent custody proceedings initiated by father in family court on the grounds of this being a mischevious application designed to disturb custody of the child. read the news article here
SO WHERE WILL THIS END UP? WHO KNOWS? BUT SOON THE DAUGHTER WILL BE 18 WHEN SHE CAN DECIDE HOW HER LIFE SHOULD PROCEED. AFTER ALL SHE HAS BEEN EMBROILED IN THIS BULLSHIT BETWEEN HER PARENTS SINCE SHE WAS 6 YRS. OLD AND PERSONALLY I WOULD NOT BLAME HER IF SHE DECIDES TO KICK BOTH HER PARENTS TO THE CURB AND HEAD OFF ON HER OWN.