A woman in the family always needs to look after children, says Kerala HCtext_fields
Kochi: Kerala High Court said in the Indian context, a female family member is always needed to look after children because the country has not reached the level of Scandinavian countries where everybody is equipped to care for children.
Justices Alexander Thomas and Sophy Thomas were addressing a habeas corpus plea by a man who alleged his 4-year-old daughter is being illegally detained by in-laws. The petitioner lives in Gujarat and the court observed that there is no evidence indicating that a woman is living with him to take care of the child.
The bench said there should always be a woman at home. "Either mother, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, grandmother, somebody should be at home to look after the children. We have not reached the level of Scandinavian countries where you have same-sex marriage and everybody is equipped to rear children. Men, women and everyone looks after children and they divide their time and energy for that. In the Indian scenario, when the children are very young, the most important thing is that a woman is at home."
The High Court bench further opined that it is also about the safety of the child because sexual violence against young children is increasing nowadays. "Irrespective of the gender of the child, it is very difficult for you to look after a child under the age of 10. You will be going to work and children can get exposed to so many dangerous things. Nowadays sexual violence is increasing even against young children, some children below the age of 2 years. It may not be a frequent occurrence but the safety of the child is very important. Especially if you are living in a faraway state in a remote town."
The court further said it does not know if the child will be proper and safe with the father at this stage. "Who will take care of the minor? You are a 38-year-old man living alone and you will take care of a four-year-old child and that too a girl child? No sensible court will allow that request," added the bench.