A 23-year-old woman is a major who is free to move about as she pleases, the Bombay High Court observed on Tuesday while disposing of a Habeas Corpus plea to secure the presence of the woman who was allegedly kept in custody by her parents over an inter-faith relationship.
A Bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale noted that the woman and her parents confirmed that she is a major.
“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 Court said.
The Court was approached by the petitioner claiming the parents of the woman had kept her in illegal custody and detention as they were opposed their inter-religious relationship.
The petitioner, an MBA student, was admittedly in a relationship with the woman for the past five years. When the woman was produced before the Court, the same was confirmed by both parties in open court.
Advocate AN Kazi appearing for the petitioner submitted that on December 16, 2020, when the petitioner had approached the local police seeking their help for the couple to be together, the woman was forcefully taken away by her parents. Thereafter, she was not allowed to contact the petitioner, compelling him to file the present Habeas Corpus plea.
The Court noted that the parents of the woman opposed the relationship between the petitioner and their daughter, and it was supposedly for this reason that the woman was taken away by them.
They observed that the purpose of filing this petition was satisfied as soon as the woman was produced in court.
Therefore, the Court, at the request of the woman, directed the local police officer to ensure that the woman is escorted from the High Court premises to the destination she desires to go to.