The Gujarat High Court has ordered the parents of an 18-year-old girl not to harass her because she wants to marry a boy when she attains the age of marriage.
A division bench of Gujarat high court comprising Justice RM Chhaya and Justice Nirzar S Desai stated that,
"We appreciate the decision taken by corpus- Divyaben, though she is hardly 18 years and 3 months old, which in the opinion of this Court, is a mature decision. We hope and trust that the petitioner and Nishaben, as parents, would respect the feelings of corpus – Divyaben and permit her to live her own life, as per her wish."
Facts of case
The girl's father filed a habeas corpus petition asking for directions to take her to court and hand over her custody. The girl had left her parents' house and started living with the grandfather of the boy she likes.
The girl expressed concern for her life and proposed to marry a 19-year-old boy after attaining the age of marriage as per Hindu marriage Act,1955.
By interacting with the court, the girl agreed to go to her parents' home while maintaining a relationship with the boy. In this way, the girl also expressed her wish, hoping that her parents would let her talk to the boy on the phone, and they would easily see her married and live a happy marriage with him.
The counsel who appeared on behalf of the petitioner subsequently assured the court that her parents should let her speak to the boy on the phone and allow her to maintain a personal relationship with him.
After hearing the case, the court stated that,
"The petitioner as a father as well as Nishaben as a mother of the corpus, shall not harass corpus – Divyaben, in any manner whatsoever. The petitioner, as well as mother of the corpus, shall file an individual undertaking on oath to the said effect in this proceeding latest by 12.07.2021."
Therefore, the court ordered the police authorities to send the girl to her parent's home and to submit a report stating that the girl had arrived home safely.
The Court said at the outset that,
“We appreciate the efforts made by Mr. Ansari, learned advocate appearing for the petitioner as well as Mr. Kadri, learned advocate appearing for the respondent no.3, which has enabled this Court to resolve this issue and, in a way, protect and save the lives of two innocent children."
The court also ordered the lady officials from the Office of the Social Welfare Department to visit the house, meet with the girl and submit a health report for at least one year.
Title: PANCHAL VIJAYKUMAR RAMESH KUMAR v. STATE OF GUJARAT