NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today allowed a 20-year old woman to live with her parents instead of her alleged husband, saying being a major, she was "free" to lead her life as per her wish.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud took the decision after interacting with the woman, who expressed her desire to go with her parents residing in Haldwani district of Uttarakhand.
However, it did not touch the aspect of their marriage.
The top court disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by 23-year-old Mohammad Danish seeking that his wife be freed from the custody of her parents.
"After we made some queries, we find that she has a clear mind and intends to stay with her parents. In view of the aforesaid, the habeas corpus petition filed by the petitioner shall stands disposed of," the bench said, without touching the aspect of marriage.
During the hearing, the bench asked the woman with whom she wanted to go and what did she want to be.
"You are a major and as per law, you are free to lead your life as per your wish. You can go wherever you want to go. Now tell us with whom you want to live," the bench asked the woman.
The woman replied that she was a commerce graduate who wanted to be an entrepreneur and wished to go with her parents.
The parents of the woman, who accompanied her to the courtroom, said her so-called husband had allegedly kidnapped her and a "fake" nikahnama (marriage contract) was executed by him.
Deputy Advocate General Manoj Gaurkella, appearing for the state government, told the court that the nikahnama and the marriage certificate were fake.
He claimed it was a clear case of abduction and the petition of Danish should be dismissed.
The apex court had on May 15 asked the Uttarakhand police to bring the woman before it today after Danish claimed that she was forcibly kept in the custody of her parents.
The Uttarakhand police had arrested the couple from Delhi after lodging an FIR alleging abduction, on a complaint filed by the woman's parents.
Danish had moved the court seeking reunion with his wife saying he was arrested by the police and lodged in Haldwani jail since April 20 for the alleged abduction of his wife, a Hindu girl who had later converted to Islam on her own free will and had taken a different name.
His petition said both of them hailed from Haldwani district and were pursuing Bachelors in Business Administration in Bheemtal town where they fell in love.
He had claimed that her parents were opposed to their marriage and relationship and hence they got married in Ghaziabad as per Islamic rituals and customs.