The Delhi High Court reunited an inter-caste marriage couple while directing Delhi Police to ensure the security of the wife of the petitioner.
The bench of Justice Siddhartha Mridul and Justice Anup J Bhambhani directed the Delhi Police to lodge Ms Meena, wife of the petitioner, at Nirmal Chhaya Home at Jail Road Hari Nagar under the care and custody of Inspector Nisha Sharma of Janak Puri Police Station.
The bench made it clear, in its order dated January 20, that Inspector Nisha Sharma shall be personally responsible to escort Ms Meena to Nirmal Chhaya and her lodging there.
The High Court said the Superintendent of Nirmal Chhaya Home is directed not to permit any person, other than Inspector Nisha Sharma or the petitioner to meet Ms. Meena without permission of this court.
The bench directed the petitioner to arrange an air ticket for his wife to travel from Delhi to Chennai.
The Court also directed Inspector Nisha Sharma to ensure the safe passage of Ms Meena from Nirmal Chhaya Home to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and ensure that she gets on to the flight to Chennai.
The court directed the counsel appeared on behalf of the petitioner to co-ordinate the aforesaid program.
The bench further said, in accordance with the wishes expressed by her before us, " Ms Meena is at liberty to join the company of the petitioner."
The court directed to a copy of an order should be sent by e-mail to Inspector Nisha Sharma and through her, to the Superintendent of Nirmal Chhaya Home for compliance.
The direction was passed by High Court after hearing a habeas corpus petition moved by the husband, who is a native of Rajasthan and presently resides in Chennai.
The petition was moved through Advocate Raghunatha Sethupathy and A. Rajarajan praying for a direction to produce and release of the wife of the petitioner, who allegedly was confined by her father into his custody illegally. Her father is stated to be a police officer with the Delhi Police.
During the hearing of the petition, Ms Meena appeared before the bench through the video-conferencing from her paternal home and expressed the desire to make a submission before it from the safety of a Police Station.
Following this, the court directed the Delhi Police to escort her to Janakpuri Police Station where she clearly expressed her wish to join the company of her husband.
The Court said it is important to record that Ms Meena made a statement before the Magistrate under serious duress. She was threatened by her family that a Khap Panchayat in Rajasthan is looking into the validity of her marriage and has decided to eliminate both her as well as he husband.
The Court thereafter said, "in view of what Ms. Meena has stated before us in the court today, we direct the SHO of Anand Vihar Police Station, where an FIR is stated to be registered against the petitioner, to forthwith get Ms. Meena's statement recorded a fresh by a competent Magistrate u/s 164 Cr.P.C."
The Court said that it is an admitted fact that Ms Meena is a major and she has stated before the court that she had married the petitioner of her free will, against the wishes of her parents.
Advocate Raghunatha Sethupathy counsel for the petitioner submitted that though the petitioner is otherwise resident of District Dholpur, Rajasthan, he is presently employed in Chennai. He submitted that the petitioner will be in a position to make arrangements for his wife to travel to Chennai.
The petition said the said marriage was solemnized at the Arya Samaj Mandir Vivah Bandhan Trust in Gokhle Market of Tees Hazari in New Delhi on November 22, 2021. The marriage was registered with the Delhi government on November 24, 2021.
The married couple moved to Chennai on November 28 to their matrimonial home. As they wanted to settle in Rajasthan, they moved to Jaipur on December 12, 2021.
The petition further stated that on December 16, the father of Ms Meena and her relatives along with the Police officials from Sardar Police Station, Jaipur illegally took the petitioner and his wife to the police station where they were given life threats.
"On the same day, the petitioner's wife was forcibly taken away by her father and around Rs 20 thousand along with a mobile phone was taken away from the petitioner. Thereafter, he was illegally confined in the prison for a day and was finally released on December 17, 2021."
The petition further said the petitioner had visited his house at Jaipur but was surprised to see that his house was locked by Police and he was not allowed to enter. Then he returned to Chennai. After reaching there, he found that the father of his wife transferred Rs 95,000 from his various bank accounts using Phone-pe from his mobile.
The petitioner said he lodged a complaint through speed post to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara and SHO, of Farsh Bazar Police Station in New Delhi. However, no action was taken by the Police officials.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)