Chandigarh: Wife, not father, granted custody of man in coma for 11 years - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh: Wife, not father, granted custody of man in coma for 11 years

By, Chandigarh
Nov 02, 2023 09:00 AM IST

The custody dispute between the family members rose primarily after the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded ₹3 crore as compensation in 2018 for the accident that pushed the man into coma in 2011

The Punjab and Haryana high court has granted custody of a man in coma for over 11 years to his Mohali-based wife while turning down his elderly father’s plea for it.

The high court observed that it did not find any lack of affection on part of both the parties towards the comatose man and it seemed that “it is the money dispute which has caused this entire controversy”. (Getty Images/Purestock)
The high court observed that it did not find any lack of affection on part of both the parties towards the comatose man and it seemed that “it is the money dispute which has caused this entire controversy”. (Getty Images/Purestock)

The custody dispute between the family members rose primarily after the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) awarded 3 crore as compensation in 2018 for the accident that pushed the man into coma in 2011.

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The court observed that it did not find any lack of affection on part of both the parties towards the comatose man and it seemed that “it is the money dispute which has caused this entire controversy”.

The court has now ordered that the husband will remain in custody of his wife and the father can visit him once a month. As of the compensation amount, it ordered that it be utilised for the well-being and welfare of the comatose man and his immediate family members only.

“..everything was going fine and the entire family was together even at the hardest times when the son met with an accident and they have put in their best to keep him alive though he is in state of coma...a perusal of the record shows that the daughter-in-law expressed complete faith in her in-laws and had executed all documents (before award of compensation),” the bench of justice Alok Jain recorded.

Not safe in wife’s custody: Father

The Rajasthan-based father’s plea was filed in April this year, alleging that his son was in illegal custody of his daughter-in-law.

Demanding his custody, the father contended that he and his wife were taking care of their son till September 2022, but their daughter-in-law removed him from their premises, about which a criminal case was also registered.

“His custody is not safe with her,” he had claimed, referring to his daughter-in-law’s “illicit relationship” with a man, revealed by herself in an FIR.

Before the 3-crore compensation by MACT, she herself had executed an affidavit in 2016, waiving all her rights in his favour, the father’s plea said, adding that 72 lakh of the total compensation released so far had been used for FDRs in the name of his two granddaughters and a flat was bought for his daughter-in-law.

Took care of him for 11 years: Wife

On other hand, the woman claimed that she was taking care of her husband from 2011 till September 2022, when she, along with her husband and two daughters, were forcibly ousted from her matrimonial house.

There was no allegation on her character till 2020. It all started when she started to inquire about how the finances were being spent, the woman submitted, adding that her father-in-law had also resorted to divorce proceedings against her.

The court observed that it could not ignore the conduct of the wife who admittedly was in an intimate relationship, but at the same time custody can’t be termed as illegal. The concern of the parents also cannot be disregarded...but, it also cannot be ignored that the woman has been taking care of her husband for 11 years now, held the court, while awarding her the man’s custody.

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It is a classic case where the detainee is a married man and is in state of coma for the last multiple years. Both the sides are fighting for his custody for reasons best known to them. There is no straight-jacket formula in such type of case.

HC in its order

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