Supreme Court states that relying on the counsellor reports for deciding the custody and parental privileges would not be breaking confidentiality and it would actually be assisting the courts in arriving at a decision “which is in the best interest of the child” as that is the legal measure to be used in determining custody.The Supreme Court opined that:

In terms of Sub Rule (viii) of Rule 8, the Counsellor is obliged to give report, inter alia, relating to home environment of the parties concerned, their personalities and their relationship with the child and/or children in order to assist the Judge in deciding the question of guardianship of any child or children. The intention is clear that the normal principle of confidentiality will not apply in matters concerning custody or guardianship issues and them Court, in the best interest of the child, must be equipped with all the material touching upon relevant issues in order to render complete justice. This departure from confidentially is consistent with the underlined theme of the Act in general and Section 12 in particular. Once there is a clear exception in favour of categories stated therein, principles in any other forms of
mediation/conciliation or other modes of Alternative Dispute Resolution regarding confidentiality cannot be imported. The effect of such exception cannot be diluted or nullified. In our view, the High Court considered the matter in correct perspective in paragraphs 17 to 20 of its judgment dated 07.02.2017.

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