Karnataka HC initiates case on its own for guidelines on child custody disputes

 The High Court of Karnataka has initiated a case on its own seeking to frame guidelines on the issue of involving psychologists to assess the psyche of children in custody in matrimonial cases.

The State and Central governments were issued notices by the division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit on Monday.

The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by the Registrar General of the High Court on a direction issued by the court.

The petition says that parents involved in matrimonial disputes coerce the impressionable minds of the minor children to make them believe that one of the parents will better take care of them.

The petition also states that in some cases, grandparents of minor children are also involved in using persuasive methods to impress them. Therefore, the involvement of psychologists to evaluate the psyche of the children is necessary and guidelines have to be framed for the same to determine custody cases.

The Bench during the hearing noted that it was the child which was the most affected in matrimonial disputes, and, therefore there was a need for the availability of psychologists in child custody disputes.

“Matters involving custody of the child are also required to be looked at not only from the legal and technical aspect, but its psychological aspect,” the Bench observed.

Senior advocate Dhyan Chinnappa was appointed as an amicus curiae to assist the court in the PIL while advocate BG Tara was appointed to assist him.

The State and Central governments were asked to file their submissions.

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