Bombay HC Grants Relief To 23-Year-Old Woman Detained By Parents For Inter-Faith Love

The Bombay HC stated that a 23-year-old woman is a major who is free to move about as she pleases.

Sugandha Bora
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The Bombay High Court delivered a verdict this Tuesday on a habeas corpus filed by an MBA student seeking that a 23-year-old woman, whom he wishes to marry, be produced before the court. He alleged that she had been illegally detained by her parents as the two belonged to different religions.


The ruling stated that neither family nor court could restrict or curtail the freedom of a 23-year old woman, a 'major' by age. "A 23-year-old woman is a major who is free to move about as she pleases," the Bombay HC delivered.

As per the case filed, the woman's parents were opposed to the relationship as the petitioner belonged to a different faith. Acting on an earlier court direction, police produced the woman and her parents in court on January 19.

Advocate A.N Kazi, the lawyer of the plaintiff, claimed that his client and the woman had been in a relationship for nearly five years and were planning to get married after he completes the MBA degree. However, the plaintiff told the court that her parents were against it and 'illegally detained' their daughter.

Moreover, Advocate Kazi also reportedly stated that on December 16, 2020, the petitioner approached the local police, seeking their help for the couple to be together. However, the woman was forcefully taken away by her parents. She was not allowed to contact the petitioner, hence compelling him to file the present habeas corpus plea against her family.

The Ruling Of Bombay High Court

A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale disposed of the habeas corpus (produce the person) petition filed by the boyfriend of the detained woman.


The Court said, "The woman stated that she is aged about 23 years and, therefore, she intends to live her life, as per her wish. It is not disputed by her parents that she is a major, aged about 23 years. Since she is admittedly a major aged about 23 years old, she is free to move as per her own wish."

The judges reached this decision after interacting with the woman. She confirmed that she was in a relationship with the petitioner for five years and they intended to marry. Furthermore, she also proved that she was a 23-year-old adult.

The parents, who were reportedly present in the court, did not dispute their daughter's age. Moreover, they were silent about her wish to marry the petitioner.

The verdict also directed the police to escort her to the place she desires to go to from court.


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