The Supreme Court on Wednesday took exception to the manner in which the Karnataka High Court was dealing with a Habeas Corpus case filed by the male partner of a woman who was allegedly being illegally detained by her parents. .A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta pointed out that by adjourning the matter multiple times, the woman's illegal detention was being prolonged by the High Court. ."We must place on record our anguish at the manner in which the High Court of Karnataka has dealt with the present matter. When in a habeas corpus petition the detenue (detained woman) had in unequivocal terms expressed before the High Court that she desired to go back to Dubai to pursue her career, the High Court ought to have passed the order setting her at liberty with immediate effect. Adjourning the matter on fourteen occasions and now postponing it indefinitely and posting it in the year 2025 depicts a total lack of sensitivity on the part of the High Court," the Supreme Court stated..The bench added that due to the High Court's lackadaisical approach, the petitioner (woman's partner) and his parents had been compelled to make frequent trips from Dubai to Bengaluru just to ensure the well-being of the detained woman."When the question of liberty of a person is involved even a day’s delay counts," the top court stressed..The Court made the observations while allowing the Habeas Corpus petition filed by a man for the release of his partner from her parents' custody. The top court on Wednesday ordered the woman's parents to release her immediately. .The Court was told that the petitioner had been in a relationship with the woman for nine years and that they had studied together in Dubai.After coming to know about this relationship, the parents of the woman are said to have forcibly brought their daughter back to Bengaluru. The woman's personal devices and documents were confiscated to prevent her from pursuing her career abroad.The petitioner (woman's partner) then filed a Habeas Corpus case before the Karnataka High Court last year. On September 26, 2023, the High Court asked the State authorities to file a status report.The next day the police recorded the woman's statement when she categorically said that she was taken away forcibly by her parents on the pretext that her grandfather was ill and was now being compelled to enter into an arranged marriage.On October 5, the High Court requested that she personally appear before the Court on October 10 for an interaction with the bench. However, the matter was subsequently adjourned fourteen times and eventually posted on April 10, 2025.This led to the plea before the Supreme Court which issued notice on the matter on January 3, 2024..The 25-year-old detenue, her parents and the parents of the woman's partner appeared in person before the Supreme Court yesterday (January 17). The petitioner (woman's partner) could not be personally present owing to a professional engagement and was being represented by his parents, the Court noted. The bench interacted with all the parties present individually in chambers, taking into consideration the sensitivity involved in the matter.During the interaction, the detenue-woman made it clear to the bench that though she has all the love, respect and affection for her parents, she wishes to go back to Dubai and pursue her career. Further, she had already lost three job interview calls due to her house arrest-like situation.The woman's parents told the Court that they are not opposed to her wishes or career choices but want her to be financially stable and secure.The top court noted that the woman was highly qualified and mature enough to understand right and wrong."In any case a major girl cannot be compelled to do something against her wishes," the bench observed..The Court concluded that the woman's continued detention with her parents would be illegal and that important documents like her passport should be handed back to her within forty-eight hours so that she can travel abroad.Therefore, it allowed the plea and ordered her immediate release, considering that she was a mature adult who wished to go with the parents of her partner.The Court also warned the woman's parents that contempt of court proceedings would be initiated against them if they disobey these directions from the Court. The matter will be taken up next on January 22 for compliance..Advocates M Gireesh Kumar, Ankur S Kulkarni, Ajit Ankalekar, Shalaka Srivastava, Priya S Bhalerao, and Varun Kanwal appeared for the petitioner.Senior Advocate Vinay Navare with advocates Charudatta Vijayrao Mahindrakar and Rucha Pravin Mandalik appeared for the parents of the woman.Advocates VN Raghupathy and Manendra Pal Gupta represented the State of Karnataka.