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Reiterating a principle laid down by Supreme Court, Delhi High Court has ruled that an adult/major woman is free to reside wherever and with whoever she wishes to reside. The court passed the order while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a girl’s parents.

A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar has provided adult woman the relief amidst the ongoing debate on Love Jihad and various BJP ruled states advocating for a stringent law against the same.

Parents of a girl had moved Delhi High Court with a habeas corpus petition seeking her production before the court. They alleged that their daughter was missing from September 12. In the petition, they have claimed that a man named Babloo had kidnapped her.

The adult woman, who is in her 20s, was traced and produced before the court through video conferencing. She gave her statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in which she categorically stated that she went with Babloo with her consent and has married him with her own will.

Considering her statement and consent, the court allowed the woman to live with her husband, Babloo and asked the police to provide protection to the couple.

“We direct the police authorities to escort her to the residence of Babloo. The police authorities shall also counsel the petitioner and the parents of Sulekha not to take the law into their hands or threaten either the woman or Babloo. The mobile phone number of the beat constable of the police station where the concerned woman would reside with Babloo should be provided to both Sulekha and Babloo so that they may get in touch with police officials in case of need,” ruled the bench.

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