[Case Brief] Any technical plea has no room in the writ of Habeas Corpus

Sruthi and Anees fell in love with each other and decided to get married but this was not supported by Sruthi’s parents because they both belong to different religions- Hindu and Muslim. Against, this Sruthi left the home, got herself converted to Islam and performed a mock marriage.

Sruthi’s father lodged a complaint in the police station that his daughter is missing. The police after an investigation took the couples into the custody from their residence whereby Sruthi was handed back to her parents. Sruthi’s parents took Shruthi to a Yoga room where she was lodged as an inmate along with other hapless girls. Anees was not aware of the whereabouts of Shruti and thus he lodged a complaint before a judicial first class magistrate. The First class magistrate subsequently issued a search warrant. Later, Anees also filed a writ of habeas corpus directing Shruti to be freed from the illegal detention.

To this, in order to quash the search warrant, the parents of Shruti produced her in the court in the midst of the hearing. Shruti at this time confessed that she wants to remain with her parents and she did not disclose anything about the torturing she faced in the yoga room. Then again when Shruti was reproduced in the court, but now she disclosed her desire to live with Anees. She also appealed -about the torture in the Yoga Kendra. It appeared that in the initial proceedings of the case, Shruti was threatened by her parents and the Yoga Kendra to convert back to Hindu and dissolve her marriage with Anees. But later she gathered all her strength to stick to her desire.

All the complaints relating to the present matter were clubbed together by Supreme Court in this present case, to which the parents raised objections. The objection with regards to the competency of Supreme Court to club the complaints was put to rest by the Court by observing that, “There was no impediment in law to club cases for disposal on merits especially when the cardinal issue in both pertains to the alleged illegal confinement of Shruthi”. The court also further observed that all the matters which can be heard and decided by the single judge can as well be heard and decided by a division bench not vice-versa. No technical plea can be entertained in the writ of habeas corpus, which is the writ of highest constitutional importance.

Several other petitions were also filed challenging such marriages as Love Jihad or Ghar Wapsi but the court did not interfere into these matters as those were to be disposed of by the police and not the writ court.

The court, however, expressed grief over the fact that every case of inter-religious marriage is sensationalised as either ‘Love Jihad’ or ‘Ghar Wapsi’ even if there was platonic love between the spouses. The court thus allowed the petition and passed the judgement in favour of Shruti.

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