Hearing a case where a 26-year-old woman ran away from her parents’ house because they forced her to marry without her will, the Supreme Court bench has allowed the woman to live her life freely. The SC bench has also provided her protection against the family members if they ever indulge in any inappropriate activity against her.

“You are an adult. You can go wherever you want and pursue whatever you wish to,” said the bench, the TOI reported. It comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

The woman who SC records as “X” is reportedly the daughter of an influential Karnataka minister who ran from the house in Gulbarga to come to Delhi 20 days after her parents allegedly tortured her to marry a man of their choice. She alleged that the parents and her brother abused her mentally and physically into the marriage which took place on March 14. She even complained to the state police about it and told the groom that she does not want to marry him and had a lover.

The woman approached Delhi Commission for Women to help her out with her case after reaching the capital. She had filed her petition through advocate Indira Jaisingh who told the court that the woman wants to return to Bengaluru and finish her studies. She wants to do masters in engineering.

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As the bench observed that the woman is an adult and hence has the free will to do whatever she wants, Jaisingh raised concern that the woman’s family has threatened her of grave consequences. “Her brother, supported by her mother, had threatened to rape her,” the counsel said. Jaisingh sought protection for the woman against such criminal activities if they happen in future.

She can go to any place she desires to. Parents or any family member of X, the husband or his family members, cannot create any obstacle in the path of the woman.

The judge said, “She can go to any place she desires to. Parents or any family member of X, the husband or his family members, cannot create any obstacle in the path of the woman.”

Senior advocate Basava Patil appeared in the court on behalf of the woman’s family. He said that the family will not indulge in coercive action. They will also give her all her belongings, including educational certificates and documents. “She need not apprehend anything. There will be no interference with her life from the parents. All things she desires will be given back to her,” Patil assured.

The SC ordered the family to hand over her belongings through advocate-on-record Sunil Fernandes.

Jaisingh also appealed to the court to declare the marriage as ‘void’. She reasoned that it did not have the woman’s consent. However, the bench rejected the argument. It suggested that if the woman wants to annul her marriage then she must appeal to the Family Court.

Further, the Apex Court has allowed the woman to freely approach area assistant commissioner of police in Bengaluru if she faces any action. The family apparently has considerable influence in the city.

Picture credit- Live Mint

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