Bombay HC allows J&K couple to stay in Mumbai

Bombay HC today allowed Muslim girl and Hindu boy from J&K -- who had married against the wishes of their parents --- to stay here after seeking the views of the girl and perusing a report of Government hospital.

Mumbai: Bombay High Court today allowed
Muslim girl and Hindu boy from Jammu and Kashmir -- who had
married against the wishes of their parents --- to stay here
after seeking the views of the girl and perusing a report of
Government hospital which said that she was a major.

Earlier, in an interim order, the court had restrained
Jammu and Kashmir Police from taking any coercive steps till
October 1 against the couple.

The girl`s father had filed a police complaint in Jammu
alleging that she was a minor and had been kidnapped.

Justices Ajay Khanvilkar and U D Salvi, hearing a
petition filed by the couple, directed the J and K police to
take the girl to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai who
would record her statement to find out whether she had been
kidnapped or not.

Her statement would then be sent in a sealed cover to
a Magistrate in J and K, the bench noted.

In an interesting twist in the case, the girl had told
the court on October 4 that she wanted to go back to Jammu
with her father. However, she retracted her statement after
the court recorded her plea. She was also asked to undergo
Ossification test to determine her age.

The girl came from Jammu to Mumbai and married her
boyfriend after getting converted to Hinduism at a ceremony.

Both filed a joint petition in the High Court, saying
they were major and had married out of their own free-will.
However, the girl`s father opposed their decision and wanted
to get her married to a person of Muslim faith.

The petition urged that the Jammu and Kashmir Police may
be asked to carry out the inquiry in Mumbai itself. They also
sought a direction to Mumbai Police Commissioner for
protection as they faced threat to their lives from the girl`s
father who was a politician in Jammu.

The couple`s lawyer Navin Chaumal said the girl had a
certificate issued by Jammu Police saying she was a major.
This was in keeping with the practice prevailing there. The
same police, however, had filed a complaint of kidnapping
against the boy at the instance of the girl`s father, he said.

The petition said the girl had come to Mumbai on her own
and had run away from home as her father wanted to marry her
off to a person professing Muslim faith.

After the couple informed Jammu and Kashmir Police and
the girl`s father about the marriage, the latter got angry and
issued a death threat to both, the petition alleged and sought
police protection.

The petition further said the FIR lodged by the girl`s
father about her kidnapping was false.

The petitioners apprehended that if they were taken to
Jammu and Kashmir, they might become victims of honour
killings or the girl`s parents may forcibly get her married to
someone of Muslim faith.

The petition said the Jammu and Kashmir Police can
question the girl in the Mumbai Police Commissioner`s office
and may even record her statement before a magistrate here.


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