Monday, 30th October 2017

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Woman gets nod to stay with in-laws while husband is in jail

The Supreme Court said it was clear that the woman wanted to stay with her in-laws and ordered her to “be released forthwith” from a Chennai remand home

By Our legal correspondent in New Delhi
  • Published 3.06.19, 5:51 AM
  • Updated 3.06.19, 5:51 AM
  • 2 mins read
Supreme Court FIle photo

The Supreme Court has permitted a 22-year-old woman to stay with the family of her husband who is serving a life sentence for murder, setting aside a Madras High Court order that had directed authorities to keep her in a remand home.

“As the appellant is a major and has expressed her desire to stay with the family of her husband, who is presently in custody, we do not see how the high court could have passed the… order directing the appellant to be housed in the (remand) home at Madras Christian Council of Social Service…,” the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said on Wednesday.

“The appellant being a major would have a right to choose to stay in the house of her husband along with the relatives of the husband.”

The bench said it was quite clear that the woman, Ansar Nisha, wanted to stay with her in-laws and ordered her to “be released forthwith” from the Chennai remand home.

The high court’s April 10 order sending Nisha to the remand home had come on a habeas corpus petition that her brother had filed.

That was after a judicial magistrate had in March restrained her family from interfering with her life and ordered police protection for Nisha.

The brother, S. Nizarudeen, had in his plea claimed that Nisha had been illegally detained at the Coimbatore family residence of Tajudeen, the murder convict serving his term at Salem’s Central Jail.

The high court in its order said that Nisha be “housed in a home” for her “safety and well-being” till April 29, the next date of hearing.

When the matter came up for hearing on April 29, the high court had extended its order till June 13. Nisha had then moved the Supreme Court.

Advocate P.V. Yogeswaran, who appeared for Nisha, had complained that the high court passed its order despite being informed that she was an adult.

“The petitioner is a major and is of 22 years. Out of her own free will she fell in love with Respondent No. 4 (Tajudeen),” Yogeswaran told the court during a brief hearing. Nisha, in her plea before the top court, had said her father had abandoned the family but left behind gold jewellery for her marriage. But her mother, brother and a cousin tortured her physically and mentally and even misappropriated the gold ornaments.

She also claimed they wanted to marry her off to a person who was hearing impaired.

Unable to bear the torture, Nisha said, she started living with a relative and claimed to have fallen in love with Tajudeen.

Her petition did not elaborate how and where she had met the convict and when they had got married.

As her mother and brother continued to pressurise her to marry the hearing-impaired person, Nisha said, she filed a case under the Domestic Violence Act and sought the return of the jewellery, her Aadhaar card and educational certificates.

“From the averments made before us in the appeal, it is quite clear that the appellant is clear of her intention to stay with her in-laws in their house…. If that is so, we find no justification for the high court to pass the impugned order,” the top court said in a written order.

“Consequently, we allow the appeal and set aside the order of the high court. The appellant, Ansar Nisha, be released forthwith from the home at Madras Christian Council of Social Service,… Chennai, where she is presently lodged.”