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State or Society can’t intrude the decision to choose a partner: Bombay High Court

State or Society can’t intrude the decision to choose a partner: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court recently rejected a Habeas Corpus petition brought by the father of a woman, saying that the state or society cannot intervene on an individual’s right to choose his or her marital partner, and that decision is exclusively up to the individual (Junned Ahmed Mujib Khan v. State of Maharashtra).

In a petition by Junned Ahmed Mujib Khan, the petitioner, seeking instructions to present his daughter Khaleda Subiya in court and relinquish her custody to him, a Bench of Justices VK Jadhav and SD Kulkarni made the observation.

The daughter was a minor when she went missing, but by the time the case was heard, she had reached majority. Despite this, the petitioner sought the Court to use its ‘parens patriae’ jurisdiction, claiming that the missing child is still a vulnerable adult despite her age.

In 2019, his daughter was kidnapped in Aurangabad, according to the petitioner. A complaint was filed with the police, which resulted in the filing of a FIR against unknown individuals.

According to the daughter’s account, she gave birth to a kid in September 2020, when she was nine months away from becoming an adult, and married in June 2021.

The daughter had stated her wish to marry her current husband, according to the Court. Her parents, on the other hand, had refused to give her permission.

The Court stated that while the petitioner-father contacted the Court with the good faith goal of protecting his daughter’s interests, this could not be done at the expense of the daughter’s fundamental rights, who deliberately married out of her own free choice.

The Court concluded that the notion of parens patriae is inapplicable in this case due to the facts.

As a result, the Court ruled that the girl is free to live her life according to the law.

By Team SLC

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