Mumbai: In an interesting case of inter-caste marriage, in the face of opposition from the girl’s family, the Bombay High Court recently came to the rescue of a couple.
The High Court asked the ‘jobless’ Muslim husband to deposit an amount of Rs 50, 000 as a surety, vouching that he would look after his wife, who is a Hindu, and their eight-month-old child.
The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Prakash Naik while hearing a writ of habeas corpus filed by Jan-e-Aalam, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, alleging that his legally married wife was separated from him by her family.
In his petition, Aalam claimed that he had married Sita (name changed), his neighbour in Itawa, UP, way back in January 2017 in an Arya Samaj temple in Lucknow. He further claimed that he and Sita had a love affair and accordingly the couple left their parent’s house and came down to Mumbai.
After a few months of cohabiting together, Sita conceived; however she was taken away and handed over to an NGO by the Child Welfare Commission. This happened after Sita’s family from UP registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Aalam with the Kongaon police station, Bhiwandi, accusing him of committing rape on their ‘minor’ daughter.
Taking cognizance of Aalam’s contentions, the judges directed a lady police officer of Bhiwandi police to record the statements of Sita and ascertain if she desires to continue living with Aalam as his wife. Accordingly, the statements were recorded in which Sita specifically stated that she wanted to continue to cohabit with Aalam. She also stated that her parents were no longer interested in taking care of her and her eight month old child.
During the course of hearing, it was revealed that Aalam presently has no source of livelihood and was instead helping his brothers in the scrap business in Uttarakhand. He informed the judges that he has a house in Uttarakhand also and intends to reside there with his wife and child.R
Having considered the facts of the case, Justice Dharmadhikari said, “The petitioner (Aalam) states that he will take care of his wife and son and provide for their medical and other needs, including the child’s education, in future. He intends to open a joint account of his wife and son and also deposit Rs 50, 000 in their name.”
“We accordingly want the petitioner to file an affidavit confirming his statements and it is only after that we will pass the final orders in this case,” Justice Dharmadhikari said. The judges have accordingly adjourned the matter till June 7.