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MP High Court overrules SDM order separating woman from her husband on her parents’ insistence

Advocate Maqbool Khan on behalf of the Petitioner argued that the Petitioner Aman married to the girl(detenu). Both of them became husband and wife of their own accord. The girl(detenu) parents were not happy with this marriage.

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday allowed a Habeas Corpus writ petition where the petitioner’s wife was sent to Nari Niketan and said the government official’s attitude of sending her to Nari Niketan was unfair.

The petition was filed by Aman Guheriya challenging the order of March 17 this year passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Division Adhartal, Jabalpur whereby the SDM has directed the Incharge Officer, Nari Niketan, Police Line, Jabalpur to keep the woman (detenu) in its custody till the order for handing her over to her family is received.

Advocate Maqbool Khan, on behalf of the petitioner, argued that the petitioner married the woman and both of them became husband and wife of their own accord. Her parents were not happy with the marriage. Therefore, the administrative intervention was sought on their behalf. Under which the SDM , Adhartal passed an order to send her to Nari Niketan. The petitioner then sought relief from the High Court.

Ritwik Parashar, the counsel for the state, submitted that he was informed by the SDM, Adhartal, Jabalpur that though the woman wanted to go with the petitioner, whom she claims to have married, for the time-being she has been kept in Nari Niketan, Jabalpur on the insistence of her parents.

After hearing the arguments, the division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan said, “We do not appreciate this kind of approach on the part of the Government authorities.” It is not in dispute that the woman, aged 22, is a major. She is free to make her choice whom she wants to marry.

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“We are therefore persuaded to set aside the impugned order dated 17.03.2021. Accordingly, we direct the SDM, Adhartal, Jabalpur to allow her to go to the petitioner if she wishes so,” ordered the Bench while allowing the petition.

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