Accused Mother and Custody of Minor

FAMILYLITIGATION

four boy playing ball on green grass
four boy playing ball on green grass

In the recent judgment by the Lahore High Court, the case revolves around the custody of a minor boy, Muhammad Daniyal, following the murder of his father and subsequent legal entanglements involving his mother, Hina Imtiaz, who is an accused in the case. The judgment, delivered by Judge Anwaar Hussain, intricately examines the welfare of the minor, juxtaposing the roles of the petitioner (mother) and the respondents (paternal grandmother and paternal aunt).

Key Areas:

Factual Background: Hina Imtiaz was arrested as a co-accused in her husband's murder, leaving her minor daughter, Muskan, in jail with her while the minor boy was kept by his paternal grandmother. After her release on bail, Hina Imtiaz sought custody of her son, which was initially dismissed due to an injunction obtained by the grandmother.

Legal Proceedings: The Guardian Court's decision to grant custody to the mother was overturned by the Appellate Court, citing the pending murder charges against her as detrimental to the minor’s welfare. The High Court analyzed whether the grandmother's actions, including the clandestine lease of the minor’s property, were in the boy’s best interest.

Welfare of the Minor: The Court emphasized the principle of the child’s welfare being paramount, noting that while the mother’s criminal charges were serious, the grandmother's handling of the minor's property raised significant concerns. The separation of the minor boy from his sister, who remained with the mother, was also a critical factor in the decision.

Court's Decision: The High Court set aside the Appellate Court's decision, restoring custody to the mother with conditions, including the provision of a surety bond. The grandmother retains visitation rights and may refile for custody if the mother is convicted.

Case References: The judgment references the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, particularly Section 17, which emphasizes the minor’s welfare. Previous case law, such as 2023 LHC 6165, was cited to support the right of minor siblings to remain united.

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