Dawoodi Bohra community child custody custom challenged

A young Indian mother based in Kuwait moved the Supreme Court on Monday against a ‘custom’ in the Dawoodi Bohra community which allows a man to take over from his estranged wife the custody of their child who is above seven without any due process of law.

Fatema Quaid Zohar Challawala said the custom which allows the father “continuous custody” was against the welfare of both the child and the mother.

The petitioner, represented by advocate Sriram P., said the custom was in clear violation of the Supreme Court verdicts which have consistently held that the welfare of the child is paramount while deciding custody.

“Declare that the custom is unconstitutional,” the petition said.

The petitioner claimed her 10-year-old son was forcibly taken from her.

“The custom violates the right of the children of the Dawoodi Bohra community as their custody is not in accordance with the judgments of the Supreme Court, which keeps their welfare paramount. At the same time, the custom goes contrary to the right of the wife…” the petition said.

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