A woman told the Delhi High Court on Monday that she had left home with a Muslim man as she was unable to study at her house due to unconducive environment, but was now ready to be with her parents. The high court, which orally observed that the couple was not married though a 'nikahnama' had been prepared, was assured by the woman's parents that they would respect her desire to study further and also create a conducive situation at home.
Besides, they assured the court that they would not scold or taunt their daughter for whatever has happened, nor force her to marry any other person against her wishes. Initially, when a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar interacted with the woman in the virtual proceedings, she said she was not willing to go back to her family and will speak to them later.
To this, the bench said, If she doesn't want to go, we cannot force her to go. Turning down the parents' request to ask their daughter to continue living in the provided accommodation, the bench said, How can we confine her to Nari Niketan if she wants to leave today. She is an adult, we can't force her to stay there? However, after interacting with her weeping parents during the hearing, she agreed to return home and the court allowed her father to pick her up during the day from Nari Niketan in the national capital where she has been residing since December 26 after being traced from West Bengal.
In any event, after interacting with her parents on the video link… (the woman) has stated that she is ready and willing to return to her parental home with her parents, the bench said. It added that she be provided with the mobile phone number of the beat constable of the area so that she can contact him or her, if she needs to, for any purpose and one lady constable shall visit her to check her well-being on every alternate day for the first two weeks.
The court disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman's father seeking production of his daughter who was missing since November 7, 2020. The family had claimed that she was forcibly taken away by a Bangladeshi' man. During the hearing, the woman's mother said, He brainwashed her and took her away. He is a Bangladeshi and not from India. Come back, he will sell you off.
The court, in its order, noted that the woman, who has completed her B.Tech from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University this year and wanted to prepare for competitive examinations, left her house as there was constant bickering in the family. She has also stated that she went with… (the man) to an advocate who was paid Rs 10,000 and he prepared a nikahnama after calling a qazi. She has not stated that she was converted to Islam. It would remain to be seen whether mere preparation of a nikahnama, in these circumstances, would tantamount to a Muslim marriage, the court said.
The court had in the last hearing directed the grant of police protection to the woman's family members. On Monday, it said the SHO concerned will access the threat perception in relation to the woman's father and family members and take steps in regard to providing them security or withdrawal thereof as he considers fit.