Guardianship Jurisdiction Dispute: High Court Ruling on Jasmeet Kaur vs. [Respondent]

In a significant legal case involving the guardianship of minor children, Jasmeet Kaur and [Respondent] found themselves in a jurisdictional dispute over custody rights. The High Court’s ruling offers insights into cross-border custody battles, emphasizing the welfare of the children as paramount. Stay tuned for a closer look at the complexities of international family law and the implications for shared parenting.


  • The Family Court allowed the application and dismissed the guardianship petition.
  • Both parties were U.S. citizens, and the minor son was considered an American citizen by birth.
  • The wife filed a guardianship petition seeking custody of the children in India.
  • The wife prolonged her stay in India, leading to the expiration of her daughter’s passport in 2017.
  • The wife refused to return to the U.S. with their daughter after a visit to India.
  • Custody proceedings were initiated in the U.S., resulting in temporary and final orders granting custody to the husband.
  • The High Court in India dismissed the appeal, stating that the custody issue should be decided by the U.S. courts.
  • The parties have primarily resided in the U.S. and jointly operated a dental clinic there.
  • The Family Court ruled that Indian Courts lack jurisdiction to entertain a Guardianship Petition under Section 9 of the Guardians and Wards Act.
  • The High Court affirmed that the welfare of the children is best served with shared parenting of both parties in the U.S., not sole custody by the wife in India.
  • The High Court noted that the wife, an American citizen, had purchased properties in the U.S. and intended to make it her permanent home.

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  • The High Court held that children have the right to be brought up by both parents as a family in the U.S.
  • It is in the best interest of the children for the Petitioner – wife to return to the U.S.
  • The High Court issued directions to ensure that once the Petitioner – wife returns to the U.S., she is not faced with adversity or hostility by the Respondent – husband or the American legal system.

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  • The courts in Delhi would have no jurisdiction to entertain the Petition u/S. 9 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
  • The prior orders for sole physical and legal custody in favor of the Plaintiff shall be recalled.
  • Jasmeet Kaur is to return immediately to Connecticut with the minor children as per prior orders.
  • The minor children shall remain in the custody of Jasmeet Kaur, with reasonable interim visitation by the Plaintiff.
  • Further custody orders will be determined by the Connecticut Superior Court after a hearing for both parties.
  • Affidavit of Undertaking of the Plaintiff regarding compliance with the Order of the High Court of Delhi is approved.
  • Attorney William Taylor is appointed as escrow agent as per Exhibit C to the Motion for Order.
  • The account for operation as per US Supreme Court orders at Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
  • The Petitioner and Respondent had abandoned their domicile of origin in India, therefore not ‘ordinarily residing’ in India.
  • Background facts of the case with the Petitioner meeting the Respondent in 2000 while she was a student. The conduct of the parties analyzed.
  • Petitioner-wife shall have custody of the two minor children upon landing in the U.S.
  • Children shall remain in her custody even after her return to the U.S.
  • Competent court in the U.S. will determine temporary/permanent custody after giving both parties a fair hearing.
  • Respondent-husband is prohibited from forcibly taking the children from the custody of the Petitioner-wife.

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  • The Petitioner, along with the two minor children, will return to Norwalk, Connecticut, USA within two weeks of the issuance of the Passports of the minor children.
  • Both parties will equally share expenses towards the education and upbringing of the children after assets division.
  • If the Petitioner fails to comply, the children will be handed over to the Respondent who will take them back to the U.S.
  • The Respondent will take steps to get the children admitted to a reputed school in the vicinity.
  • If the Petitioner is not interested in practicing jointly with the Respondent at their clinic, assets may be divided equally.
  • Alternatively, the Petitioner may identify suitable accommodation near Norwalk, Connecticut for Respondent’s access to the children.
  • The Petitioner will provide visitation and unsupervised access to the Respondent every weekend.
  • The Respondent agreed to provide specified monthly expenses to the Petitioner for a maximum of 12 months or until she gets employed in the U.S.
  • The division of assets should be completed within 4 months.
  • Upon return to the U.S., the Petitioner may continue dentistry practice at their joint clinic.
  • Both parties will jointly apply for Passport renewals and issuance for the children.
  • Escrow Account security by Respondent for payment compliance to continue.
  • The Respondent took steps as directed by the High Court for the Petitioner’s return to the U.S.
  • The Respondent will provide suitable accommodation to the Petitioner in Connecticut if she chooses to live independently.
  • The issue of jurisdiction was not addressed.
  • The Special Leave Petitions were disposed of as per the mentioned terms.
  • The Petitioner agreed to withdraw divorce proceedings against the Respondent within two weeks.
  • Upon return to the U.S., the Petitioner may return to the matrimonial home in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Case Number: SLP(Crl) No.-004858-004859 / 2018

Click here to read/download original judgement

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