The Bombay High Court has recently said that 18-year-old woman living with an adult though not of a marriageable age cannot be detained.
The Court was hearing the habeas corpus plea filed by the woman’s father who had claimed that his daughter eloped with the man in December 2020 and had been missing since then.
The Divisional Bench of Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice B. U. Debadwar observed that on being questioned, the daughter of the petitioner has informed us that after she left her home voluntarily with respondent No.5 on 21/12/2020, till today, she has not suffered any physical harm or physical abuse or tormentation. She has been happily living with respondent No.5 and they plan to get married the moment, he becomes 21 years of age.
The Court also noted, “Having recorded the statement, we deem it appropriate to note that, if the missing girl or respondent No.5 suffer any physical harm and if they allege that the petitioner has caused the said harm, the petitioner would then be liable for action, in accordance with law.”
The Court disposed of the petition and observed, “Since the missing girl is an adult and respondent No.5 is also an adult, though not of a marriageable age, we have no reason to detain the missing girl, considering the specific replies given by her, as recorded herein above.”