Case: – Rohith Thammana Gowda Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors.

                                       In the Supreme Court of India

                                          Civil Original Jurisdiction

Citation- Civil Appeal No(s). 4987 of 2022

Appellant- Rohith Thammana Gowda

Respondent- State of Karnataka & Ors.

Bench- A.M. Khanwilkar, C.T. Ravikumar


In this case, Rohith Thammana Gowda, who is the father of the child for whose custody case is being fought, wants to take the custody of his minor son and take him with him to USA, where his son was born. Both the parents of the minor child live together in the USA and also had green cards which they received on 07-09-2010. That’s why the child is registered citizen of USA naturally. The child was born on 03-02-2011 in USA. The child’s mother took him to Bengaluru, India, without consulting the child’s father, and she illegally obtained custody of the child after the husband and wife eventually fell out of love. The mother and the child had gone missing from their home at the time, and the child’s father, who was at the time in India, learned of this after returning to America.

In September 2020, the father filed a lawsuit alleging that his wife had abducted their own child in The Office of Children Issues, USA. He also filed a request for a writ of habeas corpus at The High Court of Karnataka in Bengaluru. The Bengaluru High Court has previously ruled in favor of his wife.


The main issue of this case is what is right and what is not for the future of the minor child. The child was the citizen of the USA, as his parents were Green Card holder and his childhood is spent in USA only. It is good for him to stay in USA, because the future is not decided on the time spent on a few days in India.

Another issue was that the mother brought the minor child to India without informing and asking his father, while the father of the child had every right to know about it. (custody of child, 2022)

In the fight and conflicts between the parents, today and the future of the children goes into darkness and at the age when they want love of their parents, they have to go around the court.


The father filed a petition for custody in the King County, Washington, Superior Court on January 22, 2020, and on October 26, 2020, the court issued an ex-parte ruling. The minor child’s transportation to the United States was mandated by the wife. Wife attended the proceedings on 29-10-2020, at US court. Subsequently, his wife filed a petition in which she was challenging the jurisdiction of the US court, in which the court kept its jurisdiction on minor child as it was. Later, the wife violated the statutory authority of The Superior Court and demanded alimony on temporary basis for herself and the child and also for the appointment of parenting evaluator. The order was passed by US court to grant her alimony with respect to conditions on 09-03-2021 and order was also given to bring the minor child back to USA. Wife had already filed a custody petition (G&W No. 246/2020) in the family court of Bengaluru but the court rejected this petition under the section 9 of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890. The father said that the decision of who should be given the custody of the child comes only under the USA court. According to the father, the High Court of Bengaluru, knowing that his child is still minor, (does not yet understand his good and bad,) yet did not give any importance to what is right and necessary for the future of the child. The court did not even pay attention to the decision of the US court, totally ignored it.

The father tried to prove the love and affection between him and his son during the proceedings and also tried to explain that the child’s well-being lies in his return to the USA.


The study of the case is necessary and important because nowadays cases of differences of opinion in couples are coming every day, which directly reach to divorce, due to which it has become a big issue as to who should be given the custody of the children. We learned from this case that fathers are just as entitled to custody of their children as mothers are, and that it is not necessary to grant sole custody to mothers. Furthermore, the court’s decision about the child’s custody should not be based on the mother’s request or the father’s petition, but rather on who the child’s future is safe and bright.  (custody of child, 2022)

Defects of Law

The High Court of Bengaluru did not consider the child’s interest and ignored the whole issue about the future of child.

     High Court of Bengaluru failed to give attention to the issue that the minor child is a registered US citizen with an American passport as his parents are Green-Card holder.

    The court cannot take a decision just because the mother brought the child to India and his admission done in India and the child’s mind now seems to be the same as he loved the company of his schoolmates.


The Supreme Court’s division bench noted that after taking note of the various proceedings brought by the appellants before the US court, the High Court came to the conclusion that he had brought these proceedings only in order to increase the likelihood that his “Writ Petition” would succeed and to avoid any attempt by the wife to seek custody through the Indian courts.

Due to his parents’ green cards, the little child has an American passport and is a citizen of the United States, which was noted by the Supreme Court.

The court further stated that the welfare of the child, who is 11 years old and has spent almost ten years in the US, cannot be ignored just because the mother took the child to India, had him or her enrolled in school, and is now settling down there. Accordingly, the court ordered the mother to send the child back to the United States while allowing the appeal. (custody of child, 2022)


The lawsuit concerned a child’s custody issue. What would be in the best interest of the minor child in question should be the only factor considered when deciding on a custody dispute. (custody of child, 2022)The child’s want or desire can undoubtedly be determined through contact, but the question of “what would be in the best interest of the child” is one that the court will decide after taking into account all pertinent factors. The Supreme Court has ruled that taking the child’s welfare into account would only support the decision ordering the child’s return to the USA, where he was born. The kid has an American passport and is a naturalized citizen. He is used to the way of life, language, customs, laws, and regulations of his native country, namely the USA, as a result of having been raised in the social and cultural values of that nation. The Supreme Court stated that there must be a distinction made between a child’s wishes and what is beneficial for the youngster. As a result, the Supreme Court accepted the appeal and gave further instructions on custody and visitation rights.

          Case Comment by- Sarthak Parashar, Institute of Law and Research