New Delhi: A girl, who had eloped with her cousin and was sent to women shelter on a Rajasthan court`s order, has been directed by the Supreme Court to be set free.
A bench headed by chief justice Altamas Kabir after an in-chamber hearing, ordered that the girl, whose age after the ossification test had been found to be between 16 and 18 years, is free to go wherever she likes.
The order directing her to be released from Nari Niketan in Jaipur was passed after hearing Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) and SSP, Kishangarh Bas, Alwar district, in presence of the father of the girl.
The bench, also comprising, justices J Chelameswar and Vikramjit Sen, allowed the father of the girl to meet her in presence of a woman lawyer.
Earlier, the open court proceeding was marked by drama as the apex court was of the view that its December 13 order directing protection to the couple was "deliberately" violated and there was "no misunderstanding." The proceedings were held later in chamber.
Advocates Sanjay Hegde and Abhinav Mukherjee, who were representing the father of the girl and the ACJM, however, said after the in-chamber proceedings, the court was convinced about the explanation about the circumstances under which the girl was recovered by the police and produced before the ACJM, who had sent her to Nari Niketan (women shelter).
The apex court was informed that after the girl`s father lodged a case of kidnapping, she was recovered by the police and produced on December 12 before the Alwar court which sent her to the women`s shelter.
This fact was not in the knowledge of the apex court which heard the writ petition of the couple seeking protection on December 13, the lawyers explained.
The ACJM, who was present in the apex court, placed his report before the bench of the CJI explaining the circumstances under which he had passed the concerned order.
The court kept the matter pending and asked the parties concerned to file their affidavits after which it examine the matter.