- Apprentice Lawyer
"If she doesn't want to go, we cannot force her to go," said the Delhi High Court today while a hearing Habeas Corpus petition concerning a major Hindu girl who had left home with her Muslim boyfriend (Kewal Gupta vs State).
Pursuant to a direction by the Court to Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of Delhi Police, the girl, a B.Tech student, was brought to Delhi from Kolkata and accommodated in a Nari Niketan.
Turing down the parents' request for an order directing the girl to continue living in the provided accommodation, a Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar further remarked,
"How can we confine her to Nari Niketan if she wants to leave today?"
The Court privately interacted with the girl who was present in the virtual hearing and revealed that as per the girl, she had left with her Muslim boyfriend on her own accord. She told the Court that she did not want to go home because of the environment being non-conducive for her to study.
She further clarified that in her Section 164 CrPC statement before the Magistrate, she had agreed to go back home because her parents had agreed to "accept" the boy.
However, after interacting with her family through the Court's platform, the girl agreed to go back home.
Wailing before the court, the girl's mother alleged that the "Bangladeshi" boy "changed the girl's mind" and would sell her off in Bangladesh.
In its order, the court also noted that the girl and the boy had asked an advocate to make a nikahnama for them but there was no statement/allegation of the girl converting to Islam.
"It would remain to be seen whether the nikahnama would tantamount to marriage. In any event, after interacting with her parents, (the girl) has stated that she is ready to return," the court said.
It orally said that merely making a nikahnama was not marriage.
In view of the girl's stand before it, the Court allowed the father to pick up the girl from Nari Niketan. It was added that the parents would not taunt or scold the girl once she returns and would take responsibility for her education.
The contact details of the beat constable concerned were also directed to be given to the girl.