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Supreme Court issues ‘mirror order’ in child custody case

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

The Supreme Court has applied the principle of “mirror order” in a child custody case where one of the estranged parents is living abroad in Kenya.

When a competent court in India passes a series of the conditions for the transfer of custody of a child to a parent living abroad, an identical or mirror order is passed by an equally competent court to ensure that the conditions of custody are met.

This mechanism ensures that contradictory judicial orders are not passed and is considered a remedy against transnational parental abduction of children in inter-country marriages.

The object of a mirror order is to safeguard the interest of the minor child in transit from one jurisdiction to another, and to ensure that both parents are equally bound in each State.

“The mirror order is passed to ensure that the courts of the country where the child is being shifted are aware of the arrangements which were made in the country where he had ordinarily been residing. Such an order would also safeguard the interest of the parent who is losing custody, so that the rights of visitation and temporary custody are not impaired,” a Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit endorsed the principle in a recent judgment.

The judgment was based on a petition regarding the custody of a child whose father is based in Kenya and the mother is in India.

A ‘mirror order’ is ancillary or auxiliary in character. It supports the original order passed by the court which has exercised primary jurisdiction over the custody of a child.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 2:19:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-applies-principle-of-mirror-order-in-child-custody-case/article32985590.ece

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