Gajraj Singh’s daughter and Ajit Singh married against her parents’ wishes while she was still a minor, and she was being forcibly detained at Nari Niketan throughout the custody disputes. Gajraj and Ajit both filed applications to claim her custody, while the girl herself indicated to the court that she wanted to leave with her husband. The lower court rejected both applications to claim the girl’s custody and decided to detain her until she attained majority, at which point they would release her. Gajraj Singh then filed this petition to quash the lower court’s order and have his daughter released into his custody. The high court determined that the girl’s detention at Nari Niketan was illegal and that she should be released and allowed to go according to her own wish.
1. The present application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed for quashing of the impugned order dated 26.5.2014 passed by Special Judge/Additional Sessions Judge.
2. [T]he First Information Report lodged by applicant who is father of the victim girl on 23.2.2014 … with an allegation that on 23.2.2014 her minor daughter whose date of birth is 18.8.1996, was enticed away by one Ajit … along with Rajveer and Virendra. … On 20.5.2014 daughter of the applicant was recovered from the possession of co-accused Ajit and charge-sheet has been submitted in the case against Ajit. … The applicant thereafter moved an application … to release his minor daughter and simultaneously as he is her natural guardian being father and on 20.5.2014 girl be given in his custody. The accused Ajit also moved an application on 24.5.2014 for the custody of the victim on the ground that he was her husband. … The accused Ajit as well as the victim girl filed a writ petition … which was disposed of by this Court on 10.3.2014 with a direction that restraining any person from interfering in their matrimonial life as she is major. The Court rejected the application of the applicant as well as the accused Ajit and come to the conclusion that the girl was minor who was sent to Nari Niketan and further order that when she attain majority, the victim girl should be released. Hence the present petition has been filed by the applicant for quashing of the impugned order passed by the Court below.
5. [A]s per the high school certificate her date of birth is 18.8.1996 and at the time of incident she was 17 year six months and 5 days. [The applicant] further submits that as per the medical report the girl has also found to be less than 18 years on the date of incident but she, as per her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. stated her age is 21 years and further stated that she had voluntarily gone with the applicant and on her own sweet will marriage with accused Ajit and the said fact was also informed by her parent that she would marry with Ajit Singh but her parents were against the said marriage. In her statement she also stated that Ajit had not enticed her away and she has voluntarily accompanied with Ajit. The Court below while deciding the custody of the victim on the application filed by the applicant as well as Ajit Singh had also tried to know wish of the victim who has stated that she wants to go with her husband Ajit Singh but finding her to be minor, it found proper for sending her Nari Niketan till she attained majority. It is well-settled law that a minor cannot be confined in Nari Niketan against her wishes.
7. In the case in hand, the question of the applicant being a minor is irrelevant as even a minor cannot be kept in protective home against her will. … Thus, it is clear cut case of illegal confinement of minor against her wishes violating fundamental right. Hence, … it is directed the Superintendent of Nari Niketan, Mathura to release the victim Dolly daughter of Gajraj Singh be set at liberty to go in according to her own wish.
It is well-settled law that a minor cannot be confined in Nari Niketan against her wishes. … In the case in hand, the question of the applicant being a minor is irrelevant as even a minor cannot be kept in protective home against her will.