A man knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court in search of a woman whom he claimed to be his wife but she refused to go with him telling the court that she never married him. The woman also denied the man’s claim that she was detained illegally by her brother and maintained that she was living with him willingly. She told the court that the ‘nikahnama’ (marriage certificate) claimed by the man was not genuine as she was forced to sign blank papers after being taken forcibly in a car. With these facts coming up in the court proceedings, a bench of justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta refused to be drawn into any further claims and counter-claims and held that it was satisfied that the woman was living with her brother of her own free will and was under “no restraint or illegal detention”.
The court disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by the man seeking direction to the woman’s brother to produce the woman, whom he claimed to have married on July 26, 2017, and said it was “not inclined to issue any directions in this petition”. “This court would not like to enter into this controversy at this stage because as far as the habeas corpus petition is concerned, the court has to satisfy itself that the person whose production is sought by the petitioner is not under any restraint and is not being detained by anyone against that person’s wishes. “In this case, the court is satisfied that as of date, the woman is living of her own free will with her brother and is under no restraint or illegal detention. The court, accordingly, is not inclined to issue any directions in this petition,” the bench said.
The judges spoke to the woman and her brother in their chamber where she said that “no valid” marriage was performed between her and the man and she does not wish to go with him. The woman also maintained that she was staying with her brother and his family willingly and her date of birth in her Aadhaar card, produced by the man, was erroneous. The judges, thereafter, called the man and his counsel in their chamber and conveyed to them the stand of the woman. The man also denied that he had taken away the woman forcibly and made her sign papers for the purpose of marriage. When the man’s counsel expressed apprehension over his safety, the judges said it will be for the SHO of Malviya Nagar police station to make an assessment for his protection and issue directions.
The man claimed before the court that he married the woman and they both decided not to disclose this to their families. He said that in April, when the woman disclosed about her marriage to her brother, he objected to it and threatened the man with dire consequences. On April 22, the man also told his parents about his marriage and they agreed to it. While the man claimed that according to the Aadhaar card submitted at the time of marriage, the woman was born on January 1, 1998, she said she turned 18 on March 24 this year as she was born in 2000. The police had said that the man was known to the woman’s family and had also stayed at her brother’s house earlier for some years. They said that the woman had claimed that her signatures were forcibly taken by the man after she denied his marriage proposal.