Sonal Bhargava | Prabhat Bandhulya
The Kerala High Court, in the case of Sharafudheen V.T v. State of Kerala & Ors, recently dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by a husband seeking the production of his wife in an interfaith marriage finding that the wife had grave apprehensions about her safety at the petitioner's residence. The suit brought by the husband, alleging that his wife had been wrongfully detained by her father, was dismissed by a Division Bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran.
According to the Court, the wife was found to be 'ambivalent in her position,' as she was torn between her wish to be with the petitioner and her great concern and dread of being ill-treated by his parents. The petitioner claims that he and the alleged detainee were of different religious faiths and married under the Special Marriage Act without informing their parents. He claimed, however, that his wife ceased contacting him after less than a month of marriage. He filed a complaint with the jurisdictional police after suspecting her father of illegal imprisonment.
As a result, he filed the writ petition. The Court had ordered the Station House Officer to obtain a statement from the alleged detainee by a Woman Civil Police Officer in the absence of her parents or any other family members when the case first came up for review. According to the statement, the wife claimed that she planned to live with the petitioner at his residence after a month of marriage because her mother was alone at her residence. However, word of their marriage spread quickly, and both families refused to recognise the connection. In her declaration, she claimed that her husband's family would never allow them to live together and that she was concerned about her safety at his home. The wife also admitted that her parents had not held her in any illegal confinement and that she had not been tortured. The Court noted that she had said explicitly that she was not being held against her will by her parents. As a result, it dismissed the petition, stating that it could not issue an order allowing the putative detainee to reside with the petitioner.