The Patna High Court today upheld the choice of a law graduate who was detained by her parents with a view to deterring her from meeting her lover.
Pursuant to an article published on Bar & Bench, the Patna High Court had taken suo motu coginzance of the matter. The Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad yesterday directed the SSP, Patna to produce the woman in question in chambers.
After interacting with the woman along with Amicus Curiae Anukriti Jaipuriyar, it was revealed to the Bench that the woman was not comfortable staying with her parents, and that she wanted to stay separately. She also revealed that she wanted to get married to her lover, a Delhi-based lawyer, and that her decision was not vitiated by coercion.
On learning the same, the Bench directed that arrangements be made for the woman to stay at the guest house of her alma mater, Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) Patna for a period of 15 days from today.
During this period, the Court directed that a 24-hour guard (preferably a woman police officer) be provided for the safety of the woman. The Bench further noted in its order,
“The corpus is free to interact with whomsoever she wishes. She has been provided a Mobile Phone by her parents, at the request of the Court and she is free to talk to anybody or convey her refusal to meet or talk to anybody through the Lady Constable/Officer during her stay at the guest house. However, we grant liberty to the parents to visit the corpus in the campus and talk to her subject to her consent whenever they wish.”
The woman has been requested to remain in Patna till the next date of hearing, July 12. The Court made it clear that she would be allowed to travel freely around the city, and that transport for the same would be arranged for by the CNLU Registrar, who is required to made a day-to-day visit to ensure her well-being.
The Court also noted in its order,
“We further direct that the Media shall not publish any news item which would have any adverse effect on the reputation and career of the corpus, or her parents or malign the reputation of her family. Media shall however be free to report about the proceeding held in this Court and refer the order passed by this Court, but shall not print the name of corpus or her parents.”
Read the order below.
Image taken from here.