Courts Update SC refuses to interfere with Kerala HC order giving...

SC refuses to interfere with Kerala HC order giving custody of 21-year-old woman to her parents, against Spiritual Guru’s wishes

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea filed by a spiritual guru, seeking to free a 21-year-old woman from the illegal custody of her parents, claiming that she considered him to be her spiritual live-in partner and challenged a Kerala High Court order, giving custody to her parents against her choice. 

The matter was listed before the bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy. The Bench said, “Taking into account peculiar facts and circumstances, we are not inclined to interfere in this matter.”

The Court was hearing the petition of a man, who claimed to have renounced worldly life of a doctor at the age of 42 years, despite completing MRC (Psych) from London. He had filed a Habeas Corpus petition, challenging the Kerala High Court’s decision to send 21-year-old Lekshmi by citing the SC’s Hadiya case judgement, where the constitutional court had given weightage to the right of an adult woman to choose her life partner, while insulating her from parental influence, even when her father had alleged that it was a case of ‘love jihad’. 

He alleged that the woman was in illegal detention by her parents and said, “The High Court sent the woman to her parents and family members, despite she having clearly stated that she was under illegal custody, that she was subjected to physical violence and that she desired to go with the petitioner, who is her spiritual live-in partner and acharya.” The High Court had directed the police to conduct a detailed inquiry into the antecedents of the petitioner.

“Infuriated by her choice to practice Vedantic principles of Moksha, Sanyasa and divine yoga with the petitioner, her parents harassed and tortured her, which was evident from a number of emails she sent to the petitioner, as well as to the Kerala State Human Rights and Women Commission (on which no action has been taken yet). In addition to threats to her, even the petitioner has been threatened with honour killing by her parents,” the spiritual guru alleged.

“Lekshmi being an adult and well-educated woman (who also has a brilliant academic record and has won gold medals in her college), has freedom to choose her own way of life and casting doubt on her personal preferences in any manner needs to be curtailed. Yet, the High Court ignored her explicit choice and replaced it with its own opinion,” he said. ILNS/ABV/RJ

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