‘An Adult Woman Can Reside Wherever She Wants And With Whoever She Chooses’ Says Delhi HC. We Need A Court To Remind Us That Women Are Adults
It’s a great time to be a woman. No, I am not saying this sarcastically. Just think about it. Women in our country have never had more liberty than they have today. We can vote, dress, work, move around without being chaperoned and most importantly, we can make our choices. I am not saying all the problems have been solved. We aren’t even close to that yet. All I am saying is that we are moving, or well, crawling, in that direction. The good news though is that even the courts in India have started recognizing a woman’s rights. Recently, the Delhi HC passed a ruling where they said that an adult woman can reside wherever she wishes and with whoever she wishes without being pressured or threatened by her family. So, basically, like a respectful adult who is not being oppressed.
Talking about a case where the woman had eloped with a man while the family had filed a police complaint, the Delhi HC remarked that the woman is an adult and can live with whoever she chooses to. The court said that the woman is, “free to reside wherever she wishes and with whomsoever she wishes, she being a major”.
The Bench consisting of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar noted that as per the status report filed by the police, “she was born in 2000, and even on the date she went missing, she was a major”.
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The court’s decision came while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman’s sister who claimed that she had gone missing or was being detained illegally. The plea that was filed said that the woman had gone missing on 12 September and that the family suspected a particular man. However, the woman, who was presented in the court through videoconferencing, told the court that she had eloped with the man out of her own free will and had also married him.
The bench, ruling in the woman’s favour, directed that the woman can reside with the man. The Delhi HC ordered, “We direct the police authorities to escort her to the residence of [the man].” Further adding, “The police authorities shall also counsel the petitioner [sister and parents of the woman] not to take the law into their hands or threaten either [her or the man].”
Above and beyond this ruling, the court also directed the police officers to give their phone numbers to the couple so that they may easily get in touch with the authorities in case of need.
We are so glad that the court is recognizing the rights of adult women. Yes, Indian families are extremely protective of their daughters but it’s gotten to a point where sometimes they can’t accept the choices we make. Adult women need to be able to choose where they want to live and who they want to share their life with. They can’t be policed or continuously schooled. Thankfully, the Delhi High Court thinks like this too.