The Gujarat High Court has directed the parents of an 18-year-old girl not to harass her for wanting to marry a 19-year-old boy, after he attains the age of marriage, as per the Hindu Marriage Act.
The Division Bench of Justice RM Chhaya and Justice Nirzar S Desai passed this order on July 8, while hearing a Special Criminal Application filed by Panchal VijayKumar, Ramesh Kumar.
By way of the petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, the father of the girl prayed for a writ of Habeas Corpus, directing the state to produce the corpus before the Court and to hand over her custody.
The girl had left her parental home to live with the boy she had developed a liking for. Expressing apprehension about her future life, the girl said that she wanted to marry the boy, after he attains the age of majority under the Hindu Marriage Act.
“The Corpus has also stated before us today as well as on an earlier occasion that she (corpus) and respondents have developed relations with each other as friends and she wants to maintain the same. Initially, some apprehensions were ventilated by the corpus, which in the respectful submission of the Court, were not ill-founded. However, considering the future of the corpus, who is aged 18 years and three months as on today, we thought it fit to deliberate further with corpus. The girl, after giving immense thought over the same, has expressed her desire to go with the parents,” the Court said.
However, the corpus has expressed her desire to maintain a relationship with the respondents through phone.
Mr Ansari, Advocate appearing for the petitioner, assured the Court that the parents of girl, which is the petitioner as well as her mother, shall permit her to talk with respondent no 3 (Boy) without any hindrance, as per her wish and shall also permit her to maintain personal relationship with respondent no 3 over phone.
“The petitioner, as a father as well as Nishaben as a mother of corpus, shall not harass corpus in any manner whatsoever. The petitioner, as well as mother of corpus, shall file an individual undertaking on oath to the said effect in this proceeding latest by July 12,” ordered the Court.
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The Bench directed the Police authorities to drop the corpus at the house of the petitioner and file a report to that effect in this proceeding that the girl has reached her father’s house safely.
“The Court appreciates the decision taken by corpus, though she is hardly 18 years and 3 months old, which in the opinion of the Court, is a mature decision. We hope and trust that the petitioner and Nishaben, as parents, would respect the feelings of the corpus and permit her to live her own life, as per her wish.
“The lady officer from the office of the Social Welfare Department of Ahmedabad District shall visit the house of the petitioner, meet the corpus and file a report of her well-being before the Court in this proceeding, at least for a period of one year,” the Court ordered.