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Kerala High Court : Petition dismissed as detenue is apprehensive of her safety

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The Kerala High Court while observing that the detenue is seriously apprehensive of her safety at the house of the petitioner and that she is not under any illegal detention of her parents dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by a husband of the detenue.

Petitioner seeks issuance of a writ of habeas corpus to cause production of the alleged detenue, on the premise that she is under illegal detention of her father/fifth respondent.

The petitioner averred that he married the alleged detenue, pursuant to a deep love affair, on 26.4.2022.

They belong to different religions and due to the possible objections from their families, their marriage was registered under the Special Marriage Act.

However, from 12.5.2022 onwards, the detenue is not contacting the petitioner and she has been illegally confined by her father. Complaint preferred by the petitioner before the jurisdictional police evoked no response and, hence, the petition is filed.

As per order dated 19.5.2022, the High Court directed the Station House Officer , Kalpakanchery Police Station (Malappuram) to get a statement of the alleged detenue by a Woman Civil Police Officer, without the presence of the parents or any other family members of the alleged detenue.

Such statement is produced before the Court , wherein the alleged detenue stated that the marriage before the Sub Registrar, Kuttippuram was registered without the knowledge of their parents; that the detenue thought of accompanying the petitioner after one month, since her mother was alone in their house; that both the families, who came to know about the marriage, are not willing to accept them; that the parents of the petitioner would never permit them to live together; that the detenue is seriously apprehensive of her safety at the house of the petitioner and that she is not under any illegal detention of her parents.

The alleged detenue further stated that she was not subjected to any torture, whatsoever. Even when the alleged detenue expressed that she is desirous of living with the petitioner, she fears that she would be ill-treated by the parents of the petitioner.

The Division Bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran noted that the alleged detenue is ambivalent in her stand and she prevaricates as between her desire to be with the petitioner on the one hand, and her serious apprehension and fear of being ill-treated by the parents of the petitioner, on the other hand.

“Having regard to our limited jurisdiction, where issuance of writ of habeas corpus is sought for, we are not in a position to pass any order enabling the alleged detenue to live along with the petitioner.

When the detenue is categoric in her statement that she is not under any illegal detention of her parents, we find no ground to issue a writ of habeas corpus. We, therefore, dismiss this writ petition’, the order reads.

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