Col Ramneesh Pal Singh vs Sugandhi Aggarwal 2024 INSC 397 – Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental alienation syndrome- PAS is a thoroughly convoluted and intricate phenomenon that requires serious consideration and deliberation. In our considered opinion, recognising and appreciating the repercussions of PAS certainly shed light on the realities of longdrawn and bitter custody and divorce litigation(s) on a certain identified sect of families, however, it is equally important to remember that there can no straitjacket formula to invoke the principle- Courts ought not to prematurely and without identification of individual instances of ‘alienating behaviour’, label any parent as propagator and / or potential promoter of such behaviour. The aforesaid label has far-reaching implications which must not be imputed or attributed to an individual parent routinely- Courts must endeavour to identify individual instances of ‘alienating behaviour’in order to invoke the principle of parental alienation so as to overcome the preference indicated by the minor children. [In this case, while allowing an appeal SC observed: High Court failed to appreciate the aforesaid nuance and proceeded on an unsubstantiated assumption i.e., that allegations of parental alienation could not be ruled out, despite the stark absence of any instances of ‘alienating behaviour’ having been identified by any Court.]

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