news Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 05:30
In what could be a rare meeting point for feminists and men’s rights activist, the Law Commission has recommended to the Ministry of Law that the shared parenting of a child be allowed in case of divorce parents. The Commission recommended the option of joint custody of minors to be handed over to both parents to be considered in divorce cases. The report has recommended amendments to the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 to introduce shared parenting.   Welcoming the report, Kumar Jahgirdar, National President of Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting says that children need both parents while growing up, “Children should not suffer because of their parents’ divorce.  They need to spend quality time with both parents and this method has also been adopted by some western countries.”    “Another excellent feature of this report is recognition of grandparents’ rights in India and this will go a long way in making senior citizens, especially paternal grandparents, bond with their grand children and set right family bonding,” he adds.   Women’s rights activist are also happy with the recommendation. “This will give way for both parents to be responsible for the child in case of a divorce. There can always be exceptions in case of an abusive parent,” says Shobha Ojha, President of the All India Mahila Congress.   Several men’s rights groups have been advocating the concept of shared parenting and fighting for the provision of equal legal status of both parents with respect to guardianship and custody.   In March 2015, members of Save the Indian Family went on a hunger strike in Bengaluru as protest against the “system which corners fathers” and prevents them from seeing their children.   B.Narshing Kumar, who heads the Father’s Rights Wing of the group, had then told The News Minute that the judicial system acted as agents of the “wives and that the court denied fathers the right to visit their children and made them run from pillar to post in order to obtain visitation rights, and also unfairly granted automatic custody to the mother.   Jahgirdar hopes that the Parliament will consider the Commission’s report and pass the bill “since divorce rates are growing very fast and the welfare of lakhs of children is in question.”