New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted the custody of a six-year-old boy, orphaned in the deadly second wave of Covid last year, to his paternal grandparents, saying that in Indian society, the paternal grandparents always take “better care” of their grandchildren. The boy lost his father and mother on May 13 and June 12, 2021, respectively in Ahmedabad, and later his custody was granted to his maternal aunt by the Gujarat High Court. Setting aside the high court’s decision, the apex court bench headed by Justice M R Shah said, “In our society, the paternal grandparents would always take better care of their grandson.
They are more emotionally attached to grandchildren and the minor will get a better education in Ahmedabad in comparison to Dahod.” The bench, however, said the maternal aunt can have visitation rights and meet the child at his convenience. It said income cannot be the sole criteria to deny the custody of the boy to the paternal grandparents. The high court had noted that the boy was comfortable with the grandparents. However, it had given the custody of the child to the maternal aunt on grounds such as that she was “unmarried, employed with the central government and residing in a joint family which would be conducive for the upbringing of the child.”