An Adult Woman is Free to Marry and Convert Religion As Per Her Choice- Calcutta HC

On Monday, the Calcutta High Court clarified that if an adult woman decides to convert her religion and refuses to return to her paternal house, then in such a case, there could be no interference.

The clarification mentioned above was made when a Division Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Hon’ble Justice Arijit Banerjee was hearing a plea, wherein the father had alleged that his daughter aged 19 years, was missing since 15.09.2020.

Background:

As per the Officer in charge of Murutia Police Station, the petitioner had married on Asmaul Shaikh.

The report also contained a statement from the daughter( Pallabi ) which was given on 16.09.2020 before Judicial Magistrate, Tehatta u/s 164 of CrPC, indicating that she was in a relationship with Asmaul and was living with him.

In this regard, the girl’s father stated that he had visited the Court on the day when the statement was given, but he was not allowed to meet or talk to his daughter.

He further stated that his daughter had stated due to pressure.

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In response to the allegations, Hon’ble Court ordered that Pallabi be produced before senior-most ADJ and the petitioner(father) should also be present.

It was further ordered that the petitioner be allowed to meet his daughter in front of the ADJ, and the Court should ensure that the daughter was not pressurised at the time of the interaction.

Even though the ADJ furnished a report of the meeting, however, the father was still suspicious.

To allay the father’s suspicion, Hon’ble Court on 21.12.2020, ordered that the daughter meet Additional Public Prosecutor Mr Saibal Bapuli in his chamber on 23.12.2020 and during the meeting on else will be present in the room, including Ms Pallabi’s husband.

The Court directed Mr Bapuli to file a report on the meeting on 24.12.2020

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