Delhi HC orders release of adult married woman kept in child welfare home after habeas corpus writ filed by husband

In the case of Avinash Sarvan v. Govt of NCT of Delhi & Ors., the father of the woman had filed FIR under Section 363 of the IPC at Wazirabad Police Station alleging that she was a minor. Due to this, she was produced before the CWC and was ordered to be placed in Rose Udaan Care Children’s Home for Girls, Delhi. A vacation bench comprising of Justices Vibhu Bakhru and Prateek Jalan had heard the matter on 31st December, 2020 wherein the victim’s statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC.

The petitioner, Mr. Avinash Sarvan, the woman’s husband, approached the High Court seeking a writ of habeas corpus to issue a direction on the respondents to release her. The petitioner had annexed a copy of her birth certificate as proof and had also produced the marriage certificate granted by the Arya Samaj Madal showing that the couple was married on 18.12.2020. The bench therefore directed the police authorities to immediately verify the genuineness of the documents so annexed and produce the victim before the vacation bench sitting on 1st January, 2021.

After the hearing yesterday, the court took note of the status report filed by the ASG of the state which said that the girl was produced before the CWC and after counselling, it was directed by the CWC that her details must be verified and she must be kept in the Children Welfare Home till the time the verification is being done. The status report had also stated that at the time of her admission in school, her father had described her date of birth to be 21.02.2004 which is contrary to the date mentioned in the Municipal Corporation records, i.e. 17.06.2002.

The victim was produced before the bench via videoconferencing and in an interaction had confirmed that her date of birth was indeed 17.06.2002. She had also stated that she married the petitioner of her own free will and wanted to stay with her husband. The vacation bench comprising of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambani and Manoj Ohri on 1st January, 2021 directed her release.

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