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A District Judge from Bihar has placed his law graduate daughter under house arrest to prevent her from meeting her lover.
As first reported by NewsCentral, the judge and his wife even went so far as to physically assault their daughter, while her lover was left to listen to her cries over the phone.
The judge in question, Subhash Chandra Chaurasia, is a District and Sessions Judge from Khagaria district. He appears to be at odds with a bond formed between his 24-year-old daughter and a 25-year-old lawyer based in Delhi.
A graduate of the Chanakya National Law University (CNLU), Patna, the woman confirmed to Bar & Bench that she was being confined at home by her parents.
Her lover (Siddharth), who practices at the Supreme Court, graduated from the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. The two first met in 2012 at the Saket Court complex while she was interning with an NGO.
The woman was due to take her Delhi Judicial Services Exam on May 6 this year. However, after her mother saw the duo interacting the day before, she was not allowed to write the exam. Apparently, her mother was apprehensive that she would meet Siddharth again.
Going by the report, the brief meeting between the two appears to have snowballed into a torturous affair for the young couple.
Before departing for Bihar, Siddharth received a round of verbal abuse from the woman’s mother. After mother and daughter returned home on May 8, Siddharth received a call from the detained woman, during which he could hear her getting thrashed by her mother. After the call was disconnected, her mother called him again to warn him to stay away from her daughter.
To drive the point home, a third call was made mirroring the first, with only the daughter’s cries being heard over the phone. Since then, she has reportedly been kept under house arrest by Chaurasia and his wife.
She was taken outside to write the All India Bar Exam on June 9, although Siddharth is reported as saying that, it was only an attempt to highlight that he [Chaurasia] has not confined his daughter.
On May 25, Siddharth eventually met Chaurasia. During this meeting, Chaurasia is reported to have said that he does not have any opposition to their inter-caste marriage.
However, he insisted that Siddharth become a civil servant or a judge to be eligible for marriage to his daughter. Assurances made by Siddharth that he could support his daughter while continuing as an advocate, did not inspire much confidence. Instead, he says that the judge took down his family details for further verification.
“He also abused me,” claimed Siddharth.
No reprieve from authorities
Although Siddharth approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) on her behalf, there was little that could be done with the woman under house arrest. As per the report, police authorities also failed to act. While some were not inclined to help at all, others informed Siddharth that she had refused to give her statement.
This appears to be at odds with what the woman has to say. As per a statement dated today, a Protection Officer named Ruby Kumari refused to take down the statement dictated to her on June 20.
Whereas the woman emphasised on her pleas to leave her house, Officer Ruby was more concerned with making her sign an incomplete statement only reflecting general statements pertaining to her employment concerns.
As also noted in her statement,
“I asked her [Officer Ruby] to write that ‘I do not want to stay here and its a matter of house arrest and illegal detention, please get me out of this prison’. but she said she will do it later as she was in a hurry and asked me to sign.“
Further, at least part of the statement appears to have been made in the presence of her parents, against whom the complaint lies.
As per the latest statement, the same officer had also earlier attempted get the complaint withdrawn using emotional blackmail.
A similar letter has been published in the earlier report, dated May 11 and authorising Siddharth to rescue her from her house. Pleas in the same vein made through email to Maneka Gandhi (Ministry of Child and Women Development) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh yielded no response. These emails have been published by NewsCentral as well.
Even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was reportedly consulted. However, Kejriwal told Siddharth that he could only ask the Delhi Commission for Women to intervene. But since the woman is in Bihar, there was little they could do.
Siddharth confirmed that representations made to various authorities in the Union Ministry, the Judiciary (including the Chief Justice of India), the police and the National Women’s Commission have not yielded any response.
Despite the mounting obstacles, it would appear that the couple has not lost their resolve yet. The statement penned today by the woman, shared with Bar and Bench reiterates,
“As per the Supreme Court judgement, I have the right to choose my life partner and also…to choose [the] occupation which I want to pursue. I don’t want to take further action against my parents, which can harm their reputation. I want justice and [to] avail my fundamental rights and if it will not be possible then yes, I’m ready to fight for my rights even against my parents. It’s a humble request…please help me out to get justice.“