Daily Archives: April 18, 2012

I will decide where my kid will study. …. and I need Rs 1.6 Lakhs p.m. as maintenance please !!!

I will decide where my kid will study.

You honour also please grant me Rs 1,60,000 monthly maintenance

(All this was sought circa 1995 in a high profile case !!!! )

“…..The respondent in reply averred that his net take home salary was Rs.14.585.00 P.M., and he had no objection to paying maintenance within his means and capacity. …..”
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Delhi High Court

Radhika Vickram Tikkoo vs Vickram Ravi Tikkoo on 1 October, 1995

Equivalent citations: 1995 IVAD Delhi 557, 60 (1995) DLT 666, I (1996) DMC 422

Author: M Sarin

Bench: M Sarin

JUDGMENT

Manmohan Sarin, J.

(1) This revision petition has been filed by Mrs. Radhika Vickram Tikkoo, assailing the order dated 14-8-1995, of Mr. A.K. Pathak, Additional District Judge, by which he allowed the application of the respondent father and directed the child to be readmitted to American Embassy School, where he was studying, prior to being withdrawn by the petitioner and admitted to Vasant Valley School. The learned Additional District Judge, further directed the respondent to arrange funds for payment of fees of the American Embassy School, in short (AES) within a week.

(2) The revision petition had come up for admission on 24-8-1995, when the operation of the impugned order was stayed and the petition was directed to be listed for hearing after completion of pleadings. I have been addressed at length by Mr. Kapil Sibal, Sr. Advocate on behalf of the petitioner and Mr. V.P. Singh, Sr. Advocate on behalf of the respondent. Parties have filed on record, the pleadings and documents in the divorce petition as well as the school reports of the minor child and the syllabus of the two schools.

(3) Before going into the rival contentions of the parties, let me notice the admitted facts:-

(I)the petitioner Radhika Vickram Tikkoo, daughter of Shri Arun Nehru, was married to respondent Vickram Tikkoo, son of Shri Ravi Nandan Tikkoo on 27-10-1988. From the marriage, Vickram Tikkoo, Junior i.e. the minor child was born in U.S.A on 29-4-1990, (now nearly five and a half years of age). After the marriage, the parties proceeded to U.S.A., where the respondent was living. Parties came to India in May, 1992. Differences arose up between them but they lived together till 3rd October, 1994, on which date, the petitioner leaving the matrimonial home came to her parental house with the minor child. The minor child was admitted to American Embassy School on 18-8-1993 and he continued to study there till May, 1995. On 3-7-1995, without reference to respondent and without his consent, the petitioner withdrew the child from American Embassy School and got him admitted to Vasant Valley School, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. (ii)The petitioner on 7-10-1994 filed a petition for dissolution of marriage by decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty. The written statement of the respondent to the petition is not yet filed, pending disposal of respondent’s application seeking better particulars. (iii)The petitioner has also moved an application under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act for grant of maintenance for her as well as that for the minor child. The petitioner claimed a monthly sum of Rs.1,60,000.00 for herself and the minor child as maintenance and support which included a sum of Rs. 27,000.00 P.M. as the fee of the American Embassy School. The respondent in reply averred that his net take home salary was Rs.14.585.00 P.M., and he had no objection to paying maintenance within his means and capacity. The respondent claimed that it was his father, who was paying for the minor child’s school fee and mortgage for the house in U.S.A. The farm house in Delhi also belonged to his father who maintained the house hold. (iv)The petitioner also filed a complaint against the respondent in the crime against Women Cell, pursuant to which the respondent had taken anticipatory bail. (v)The petitioner filed an application Under Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act for the permanent custody of the minor child and restraint on the respondent from removing the child from her custody. Interim custody of the child was granted to the petitioner on a “No Objection” from the respondent, who pressed only for visitation rights. Meeting in the Court premises was granted to the respondent on the first and third Saturday of every month. (vi)The respondent on learning of the change of school of minor moved an application dated 18-7-1995 under Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act praying for readmission of the child to American Embassy School, the session of which was to begin from 14-8-1995. It was urged in the application inter alia that the child was an American citizen and had been got admitted to the Aes, which followed the American of education to facilitate in future his admission to under graduate and graduate courses in U.S.A. where he was expected to study. This was with the consent of both the parents. Besides Aes was one of the top schools in the country, having all facilities for sports, theatre, orchestra etc, with emphasis on multi cultural learning with students from 50 countries. The petitioner in complete disregard of the welfare of the child in her arrogant manner, had withdrawn him from Aes and got him admitted to a non descript school. As regards the payment of fees of the Aes, it was claimed that a trust has now already been set up, for payment of fees due on 14-8-1995 and for future. The petitioner could not have taken the decision unilaterally, without respoondent’s consent who was the natural and legal guardian. The decision of the petitioner had damaged the prospects of the child’s future and was not conducive to the education, welfare and advancement of the child. (vii)The petitioner in reply to the above application contended inter alia that it was in the welfare of the child that he got educated in an Indian School, which would help him intergrat with his present and future environment and lead his normal social and cultural life. It was in the interest of the child, who needed to go to a normal Indian School and not to be alienated from Indian environment, as was happening in the American Embassy School, where there were very few Indian students to interact with. All the relatives of the child were Indian or of Indian origin. The Indian schooling system also had high standards which enabled the students to get admissions in U.K. and Australia and even in U.S.A., after clearing the initial examination. The petitioner being in legal custody of the child, had taken the decision to shift the school, after due consideration and in the welfare and best interest of the child. The emphasis in the American Embassy School being less on academics, the child was feeling incapaciated, while interacting with children from other schools, who were more advanced academically. The child was confused at not being taught Hindi. Over the last few months he was becoming less inclined to attend school. The petitioner contended that Vasant Valley was one of the best schools in Delhi, achieving a balance in extra curricular activities and academics. The child was very happy had taken to the school well. He was progressing well learning the Hindi and English alphabets. The respondent’s application was a malafide one to harass the petitioner and spite her. The respondent was indifferent to the child’s studies. He did not even bother to attend the parent teachers meetings. The respondent had not paid any maintenance for the child or petitioner. In his reply to the maintenance application respondent had shown his unwillingness to pay for the education, when he claimed that his net take home was Rs. 14,825.00 P.M. as against the annual school fee of American Embassy School at U.S. $10,000.00 . No proof of the creation of the trust had been produced. The respondent in fact had with a view to avoid any payment for maintenance and support had taken the stand that his father paid for the school fee, house in U.S.A and for the running of the farm house in Delhi. The child being an American citizen by birth was of no consequence.

(4) The learned trial Judge vide the impugned order allowed the application of the respondent for reasons summarised as under. The child was admitted to the American Embassy School, when both the parties were living together and therefore evidently with the consent of both the parties. The petitioner did not take any steps for change of school from October’1994 till July 1995, though the new session starts in most of schools in March-April each year with process of admission commencing from December of previous year. The petitioner was fully aware of the pattern of education in American Embassy School and the drawbacks, now sought to be pointed out. The petitioner had even sought maintenance on the basis of fees payable at the American Embassy School. No cogent reason necessitating the change of school had been disclosed. The petitioner did not bring the facts regarding the change of school to the notice of the Court, though the matter of custody was pending. The petitioner had taken the step in a hasty manner, which created shadow of doubt about the intention of the petitioner. The learned Judge observed that the child had adapted himself well in the American Embassy School and concluded that it was in the welfare of the child that he remained in the same environment. The learned trial Judge noted that the respondent had placed sufficient material on record to show that arrangements for payment of fee for the Aes had been made. He directed the respondent to arrange for funds w

(5) Counsel for the parties were requested to refer in their submissions to pleadings in the pending litigations, only to the extent, it was relevant for determining the welfare of the child qua the question of education since the allegations and counter allegations between the respondent are not to be the subject matter of this petition.

(6) Mr. Kapil Sibal, Sr. advocate has assailed the impugned order as being vitiated by non consideratin of relevant material on record. The welfare of the child has been ignored by non consideration of the reply and the reasons set out by the petitioner regarding the change of school. Mr. Kapil Sibal submitted that the learned trial Judge acted with material irregularity in ignoring the assessment of the mother regarding the alienation and unhappiness felt by the minor child in the Aes, which happened after attending the school. It was only on attending the Aes that the draw backs came into focus. He assailed the finding of the trial court that the child was well settled in Aes, because a period of two years had elapsed. The trial Judge also without any basis ignored the assessment of petitioner mother that child had adapted himself well to the Vasant Valley School in short (VVS), by holding that environment would be different. The finding of the trial court that the petitioner had earlier consented to the admission of the child to the Aes was of no consequence. Mr. Sibal, however contended that the petitioner had no choice or say in the said decision and the admission to the Aes was without the petitioner’s consent. Mr. Sibal further submitted that the trial court had failed to consider the malafide conduct of the respondent’s i.e unwillingness for payment of maintenance and support for the petitioner and the child. The learned trial court ignored the fact that the respondent had received the bill of fees from the Aes on 23-5-1995, yet the respondent kept quiet till July, 1995. On the other hand in his reply to maintenance application stated that his take home income was only Rs.14,885.00 P.M. while the school fees of Aes were to the extent of $10,000.00 annually. He took the position that he would pay maintenance and support as ordered by the Court in consonance with his income. He did not indicate either his or his father’s willingness to pay,. the school fee of AES. It was only in July, 1995 when the application was made by the respondent that he offered to pay the fees and took up the plea of trust being formed. The letter to the school was sent only on 11-8-1995. This was an after thought and by way of counter blast to the shifting of the child to the Vvs and part of an obstructionist strategy to harass the petitioner. The petitioner was left in a state of uncertainty regarding payment of school fee of AES.

(7) Mr. Sibal painstakingly argued that the impugned order had failed to decide the question as to what would in the welfare of the child and which school he should go to keeping in mind his welfare. The learned Judge ignored the rival contention of the parties regarding the comparative merits of the school. The order was thus vitiated by non application of mind and ignoring the welfare of the minor simply because the Learned Judge found that the admission to Aes was with the consent of both the parents. The fact that she did not object earlier was taken to be a determinative factor. This Mr. Sibal submitted ignored the ground realities and the changed situation. The learned Judge has failed to consider that there has been a sea change in the situation in as much as the petitioner, who is an Indian citizen would live in India for years to come. The petitioner and the respondent who had both returned to India in 1992, have separated since October, 1994. The respondent’s corporate group have admittedly submitted proposals for joint ventures in India. The respondent had put up the house for sale in U.S.A., which demonstrated his intention of residing in India. Accordingly, the petitioner and the child were to stay in India for years to come. There was no immediate prospect or in the foreseeable future of the child living away from the petitioner or in America. The respondent had only asked for visitation rights and the child continued to be lawfully in the custody of the petitioner. The petitioner, it was submitted had been looking after all the physical and emotional needs of the child and constantly monitored the child’s studies. She regularly took and dropped the child to School. The respondent, it was claimed was indifferent and would not even attend the parents teacher meeting. The petitioner had been acting as the de-facto guardian and she was fully entitled to take decision about the health, education etc of the child. The respondent had failed to discharge or fulfilll his responsibility as father and guardian and not even paid any maintenance to the petitioner or for the minor child. As regards the decision to shift having been taken without reference to and without consultation with the respondent, Mr. Sibal submitted that having regard to the acrimonial state of relationship, the process of consultation would have been an exercise in futility. The decision to change the school was taken bonafide by the petitioner in the welfare and interest of the minor. The child was feeling alienated in the Aes, where mostly children of diplomats studied. No Hindi was taught in the said school. It was in the child’s interest that he was brought up in an Indian environment, which would enable him to integrate socially, culturally with his surroundings. The fact that the child was an American citizen by birth was of no consequence. The parents are of Indian origin, while the mother is an Indian citizen. The child on attaining majority could opt for continuance of American citizenship or renouncing it. As regards, schooling in the Aes facilitating the admission to American Universities, Mr. Sibal pointed out that those who have studied and followed Indian school examination, also procured admissions in U.S.A and even in European, British and Australian universities. Schooling at the Aes would curtail and restrict admission options in the U.K and European Universities, while facilitating admission to American Universities. Mr. Sibal also stressed that the child was happy in the Vasant Valley School, which was one of the best school in Delhi and where the emphasis on academics and extra curricular activities was well balanced. There was lot of individual attention paid. The school would enable the building up of the child’s personality, lasting friendships and imbibing Indian cultural values. Reference was also made by him to a report from Vasant Valley School dated 28-8-1995, which indicated that the child was happy and well adjusted in the School. Mr. Sibal also referred to the Report Form of May, 1995 of the Aes wherein there was indication of the child being distracted and not putting much effort. The report mentions the difficulties being expressed by the child in settling into an acitiviy. Mr. Sibal, however, candidly stated that the school reports could not be determinative in the matter and reliance therefore had to be placed on the judgment of the mother, who had the child’s custody under the Court order. She was the de-facto guardian charged with the custody and care of the child. She is the one who knows and understands the needs of the child. The impugned order was vitiated with material irregularities and was liable to be set aside.

(8) Mr. V.P. Singh, in reply submitted that the respondent and Vikram Tikkoo, Jr. were American citizens. They were the heirs apparent to the business empire of the grand father, Ravi Nandan Tikkoo, who had achieved tremendous success in international shipping and other businesses. It was keeping this in mind that the respondent and petitioner had decided that the minor child should receive education which was best suited to his future global prospects. It was a conscious and deliberate decision taken by both the parents to admit the child to Aes to provide a continuous pattern of education, suited to the child’s future global proospects. The respondent had come to India following the liberalisation policy for identifying and planning the setting up of and commencement of business ventures. It was with a view of avoid discontinuance of pattern of education as and when the respondent was required to move out of India to manage other international business of the group, that the child was admitted to the AES. It was stated that respondent was present in India as representative of his father and was functioning as the chief executive of the Indian Company. In these circumstances, the learned Judge had rightly taken note of the fact that the petitioner was fully conscious of all the advantages and disadvantages of the pattern of education in the AES. The Aes, it was submitted was a top school in the country with a long standing, having international recognition. It provided multi cultural learning having students of over 50 countries. The school gave due attention to Indian studies and observance of Indian religious and cultural festivals. The school also organized various programmes including Baccalaureate programme which prepared students for admission and enabled them to gain admission to European Universities. It was submitted that it was the desire of the respondent that the child received schooling which facilitated his admission to the best American Universities to prepare him for shouldering the responsibility of managing their business. The respondent himself was a graduate of Ivi League University and Wharton School of Business and Finance. It was therefore, submitted that Aes would widen rather than narrow down to options of the child as would happen if the child went to Vasant Valley School which has classes up to 9th standard. Mr. Singh also stressed that the child was well adjusted and well adapted to the AES. The respondent had set up the trust and infact paid the school fees on 17-8-1995 for the academic year. Mr. Singh submitted that the action of the respondent in changing the school was simply an expression of the arrogance of the petitioner. Mr. Singh vehemently argued that the impugned order was well founded. The learned trial court after consideration of the materials on record found that there was no justification for shifting the child from the Aes to VVS. The learned Judge had even met with the child on 22-7-1995, in chambers, when the respondent’s application against the change of school was on record. The order did not suffer from any perversity, error of jurisdiction or material irregularity, so as to warrant interference in revisional jurisdiction. He pointed out that the legislature had not provided for any statutory appeal against the decision of the Guardian’s Judge. The scope in revision was a very limited one. Simply because there could be another view was not a ground for interference in revision. Further the existence or otherwise of a point projected as point of law or of general importance was not a ground for interference under Section 115 CPC. Mr. Singh relied on M/s. Bhojraj Kunwarji

Oil Mills and Ginning Factory and Another Vs. Yograjsinha Shankersinha Parihar and Others; titled Manick Chandra Nandy Vs. Debdas Nandy and Others; titled Vora Abbasbhai

Alimahomed Vs. Haji Gulamnabi Haji Safibhai; titled University of Delhi And Another Vs. Hafiz Mohd. Said And Others; and 1974 Rlr 121 titled Mrs.Asha Wadhwa Vs. Prithviraj Wadhwa. Mr. Singh was also critical of the manner in which the petitioner had changed the school of child unilaterally and stealthily. There was infact no genuine cause or reason to shift the child. The reasons given are make belief the petitioner herself had sought maintenance on the basis of payment of fee of the Aes as late as February, 1995. Mr. Singh submitted that no reliance should be placed on the wild allegations made in the revision petition against the respondent, which ware even otherwise the subject matter of the divorce petition. The respondent had sought better particulars and the written statement would be filed after decision on the petitioner’s application for better particulars. Mr. Singh argued that the respondent/father was deeply attached to and concerned about the child. It was this concern, which made the respondent give his “NO Objection” to interim custody being with the petitioner when the child was less than five years. An action taken in the interest of the child could not now be described as indifference to the child. The respondent has sought effective and longer duration of meetings with the child. The child was deeply attached to the respondent.

(9) Mr. Singh argued that the petitioner who had the interim custody had no right to take the unilateral decision without reference to the respondent who was the natural and legal guardian and even without permission from the Court. The petitioner having interim custody could not curtail or take away the rights of the respondent as the legal and natural guardian, which were much wider than custody. The decision to change the school was against the overall and long term interest of the minor child, having regard to the family background and business interests of the child. Continuous education in the Aes was in the best interest and welfare of the minor. This would groom the child for graduation from one of the Ivi League Universities in U.S.A. It would broaden his vision prepare him for shouldering international business responsibilities. The petitioner cannot take any advantage regarding Hindi not being taught and there being no instructions in Hindu religion in the Aes for the minor child, who was an American citizen. He concluded that sending the child to Vvs, which is a poor imitation of any Western School was against the interest of the child.

(10) Having heard the learned counsels at length and gone over the material on record, I find that the present case is an off shoot of marital discord and acrimony, which finds it victims in the children. In the maze of inflated egos, personal prejudices and dissensions, the considerations of well being of the minor recede into background. This happens while both the parties adopt righteous postures of being solely guided by consideration of welfare of the child. The duty i.e cast on the Court while considering matters relating to custody, health or education of the minor children is to secure the paramount welfare of the minor. The Court while examining the decision taken by the parent charged with custody, ordinarily should not interfere with it unless the decision taken is against the interest of the minor, and is taken mala fide or based on extraneous considerations. This is because the parent charged with custody, must have discretion in such matters. The Court cannot be made the arbiter for the numerous issues that arise in day to day life of the child on which the parent charged with the custody has to decide. As stated in matters of custody, health and education, the paramount consideration has to be the welfare of the minor. The rights of the parties are subservient to it. Procedural legal objections and technicalities, should not come in the way of doing substantial justice in ensuring welfare of the minor, who is the victim of the marital discord and acrimony of the parents. With the above approach, let us analyze the present case. The rival contentions of the parties and counter allegations made by the parties against each other, except to the extent they have a bearing on the question of minor’s education and welfare are to be ignored. It is the admitted position that acrimonious litigation is going on between the petitioner and the respondent. The respondent’s response to the claim for maintenance of Rs.1,60,000.00 P.M. by the petitioner, which included the claim for school fees of Rs.27,000/0 per month at the Aes, was that his take home income was only Rs.14,585.00 P.M. Further that he would have no objection to payment of any maintenance and support granted as may be ordered by the Court in consonance with his income. The respondent did not indicate at that time his willingness to continue to pay the school fees of the Aes either himself or through his father. The respondent also did not respond to the bill of the school dated 23-5-1995, received by him for the school fees. Even though it transpired later on that the, school fees could be paid by 14-8-1995. It is not material that the respondent has now paid the school fees and made provisions by creation of a trust for future payments. The school fees that has been paid is refundable if the child does not attend the session. The creation of the trust was belated and appears to be an after thought. The learned trial Judge also erred in holding that the petitioner had not taken any steps to change the school from October, 1994 and had acted in haste. The learned Judge failed to notice that the petitioner acted in the interest of the child in letting him complete the school session of studies at AES. It cannot be lost sight of that from the date of reply to the maintenance application the petitioner mother was left in a state of uncertaintity. In this prevailing scenario, if the petitioner who was otherwise finding the child feeling alienated and uncomfortable in Aes, took a decision for changing the school, which she perceives as being in the minor’s welfare, the same cannot be faulted with. It cannot be lost sight of that the petitioner admittedly was looking after and having complete care of the child and monitoring his studies at the school. It is only the mother, who can perceive and ascertain the child’s discomfiture. The child may not even reveal or communicate his apprehensions and concerns to outsiders or even his teachers. It is only the petitioner mother with whom the child was in constant touch and communication. The channels of communication having been disrupted with the father as a result of the separation. The contact with the respondent being confined to two meetings of a total duration of four hours in a month.

(11) I find that the learned trial Judge has acted with material irregularity in ignoring the averments in the reply of the petitioner to the application under Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act, filed by the respondent. In the reply, the petitioner had inter alia clearly stated “It is submitted that the American School is not suitable as the education there is completely on the American pattern of Schooling. The child is however, living in India and may decide to pursue his further education in India or other commonwealth countries where the system is similar. In fact the minor child often felt alienated in the said school because there were very few of Indian students with whom he could interact and further he was not encouraged to learn about his culture.”

“IT is submitted that Vickram Tikkoo, Jr. was going to the American School as per their system only in the afternoon session. The emphasis in the said school was less on academics and the child was therefore feeling incapacitated while inter-acting with children from other schools who were at more advanced level academically. The child also expressed his confusion at the fact that he was not being tought Hindi unlike his contemporaries. It was further submitted that in the last few months, the minor child was less inclined to attend School.” “The respondent had never looked after the child Vikram Tikko, Jr., or been interested in his welfare. He has never shown any interest in the child’s studies or school whereas the petitioner has not only working along with the child at home but also visiting the child at School. The petitioner therefore, realised that the child needed to go to a normal Indian School and not be alienated from anything Indian as was happening in the American School.”

Besides this, the reply dealt at length on the merits of the child receiving schooling in an Indian environment and advantages of sending the child to Vvs, as perceived by the petitioner. The reply also dealt at length, with the stand taken by the respondent regarding the payment of school fees as reflected in the reply to the maintenance application. The finding of the learned trial Judge that no cogent reasons were given for changing the school is unsustainable and contrary to the record.

(12) The learned trial Judge in reversing the decision of the petitioner of change of school, because the child had been according to him admitted in the Aes with the consent of both the parties, who were aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the American pattern of education has adopted a rigid approach, which is not conducive to the welfare of the minor, Besides the said approach amounts to ignoring the ground realities and the change of circumstances which has arisen because of the marital discord and acrimony and separation of the petitioner and respondent. Ignoring these ground realities namely the fact that the child in the present scenario is likely to stay in India in the foreseeable future under the care of the petitioner amounts to a material irregularity. Mr. Sibal has rightly submitted that the ground reality is that the child would stay in the care of the petitioner in the forseeable future. Admittedly as of now, the respondent had not sought custody of the child and had asked for only visitation rights. The respondent on his own showing has come to India for exploring the possibilities of business ventures. It cannot be said as of now with any certainity whether the child would like to go to U.S.A. or stay in India. The emphasis therefore by the learned trial Judge on the child being an American citizen for whom the American pattern of education, was required is not the correct approach to proceed with. The order also betrays non-application of mind in as much as, it has failed to consider the reasons for change in school and the same being in the welfare of the minor or not. The impugned order completely fails to consider that since the child would be staying in India for the forseeable future, it was for his well being that he receives education in an Indian environment, which would help him integrate with his surroundings and which would be conducive to the development of his personality. The child according to the mother was finding himself uncomfortable and was confused at not learning Hindi. The report from the Aes dated 1st May, 1995 as noticed earlier contains some indications of the child not putting much effort and having difficulty in settling down to an acitivity. It was therefore, in the minor’s interest that in the formative years he enjoyed his studies to lay a sound foundation for higher education. However, it is the assessment of the petitioner mother in this regard, which is to be the determining factor. Nothing has been shown which would indicate that the decision of the petitioner mother was taken for an ulterior purpose or that the mother is not interested in the welfare of the child. The child being an American citizen is of no consequence. The minor as he grows may opt for the European system or the American pattern of education. The said option is not excluded to him. His admission to American Universities is not excluded by following the Indian School System. The Aes which caters to the children of Diplomats mostly, who are transferred to India, admits children beyond the nursery in senior classes also. The trial court exceeded its jurisdiction in reversing the decision of the parent charged with the custody of the minor, regarding change in school, without any plausible cause. It is not necessary to dwell at length on the comparative merits of the schools or the system of education. It is sufficient to notice that the petitioner mother bonafide believed that the welfare of child presently lies in change of school and in attending Vasant Valley School and for which belief there were good reasons. In view of the approach to be adopted by the Court as set out in para 10 , it is also not necessary to advert to the authorities cited by the parties in support of their legal submissions. I am also of the view that granted the present status of acrimonious litigation, prior consultation with the respondent regarding the change of school would have been an exercise in futility. Further the failure to make prior consultation or seek the prior permission from the Court in this matter cannot be fatal, if the decision is otherwise taken bonafide and in the best interest of the minor.

(13) As regards the reliance by the respondent on the meeting the Learned Judge had with the child, the same would not advance the case of the respondent. It appears that the meeting was pursuant to the grievance of the respondent regarding the petitioner making certain gesture during the meeting in Court and for a change of venue. The Learned Judge, in any case, in the impugned order does not refer to or rely on any conclusion drawn from him in such a meeting. In view of the foregoing discussion, I am of the view that the impugned order is vitiated by material irregularity and non consideration of material on record and is liable to be set aside. The decision taken by the petitioner is a bonafide one not vitiated by malafides and is in the interest of the minor. The revision petition is therefore, allowed and the impugned order dated 14-8-1995, is set aside. It may be stated here that it would be open for the respondent to seek directions for a change in Schooling of the minor in the event of any change in circumstances or coming into being of such circumstances, which would render the continuance of the minor in the Vasant Valley School, not conducive to his welfare. The revision petition is allowed. Parties to bear their own costs.

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