Custody Battle: Indian Court Dismisses Appeal, Allows Child to Return to Ukraine

Custody Battle Indian Court Dismisses Appeal, Allows Child to Return to Ukraine


The case involves a dispute over the custody of a minor child between Akhilesh Kumar Gupta (the appellant) and Ms. Gupta Snizhana Grygorivna (the respondent), who were married in Ukraine and subsequently divorced there. Both children born to them are Ukrainian citizens.

Legal Battle:

  • The appellant filed a guardianship petition in India seeking custody of their son after bringing him from Ukraine amid the war with Russia.
  • The Family Court dismissed the petition citing lack of territorial jurisdiction, as per the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
  • The appellant challenged this decision in the High Court, arguing for the child’s welfare and citing precedents. However, the court upheld the dismissal, emphasizing the child’s usual residence and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
  • The court noted that the child expressed a desire to return to Ukraine with the respondent, his mother, and stated that it would be in his best interest to remain with her and his siblings.

Key Points:

  • Territorial Jurisdiction: The court ruled that India lacked jurisdiction due to the child’s usual residence in Ukraine.
  • Best Interest of the Child: Despite the ongoing war, the court deemed it best for the child to remain with his mother and siblings in Ukraine.
  • Legal Precedents: Rulings in similar cases and international conventions were considered to determine jurisdiction and custody.


The High Court dismissed the appeal, allowing the respondent and the minor child to leave India. The decision underscores the importance of the child’s welfare and the need to adhere to legal principles, even in complex international cases.

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