An adult woman free to move “as per her own wish”: Bombay High Court

As relief to an interfaith couple, the Bombay High Court directed the Police to escort the woman to the destination of her choice after her illegal detention by parents

Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court directed the Police to escort the woman who was present in court to any destination she desired, observing that she is an adult and can move as per her wishes.

The Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale were hearing a Habeas Corpus petition filed by an MBA student seeking that the 23-year-old woman, whom he wished to marry, be produced before the court, as she was in “illegal custody and detention” of her father. Her family opposed their union as they belonged to different faiths.

The Bench interacted with the woman, Kiran Ishwar Panchal and noted, “She has been in a relationship with the petitioner – Shaikh Mohd. Abid Ayyub almost for the past five years. She is a graduate while the petitioner is pursuing his MBA course. She stated that they intend to get married. She further stated that she is aged about 23 years and, therefore, she intends to live her life, as per her wish.”

The petitioner expressed the same wish that they intend to marry. The Bench said, “The facts of the present case indicate that the parents of said Ms. Kiran Ishwar Panchal oppose her relationship with the petitioner and it is perhaps, in this background, she was allegedly taken away by them, as alleged by said Ms. Kiran Ishwar Panchal.”

While disposing of the petition, the court held, “Since said Ms. Kiran Ishwar Panchal is admittedly a major aged about 23 years old, she is free to move as per her own wish. Nevertheless, as per the request made by said Ms. Kiran Ishwar Panchal, Mr. Sonawane, the API attached to the Naupada Police Station, Thane, who is present in the court, is directed to ensure that said Ms. Kiran Ishwar Panchal is escorted from the court premises to the destination that she desires to go.”

The order may be read here: 



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