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Allahabad HC observation on married women who wish to study & live separately.

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Hearing a case where a woman had alleged harassment from family members as she wished to pursue further education, the Allahabad High Court decided to grant her protection. Court said, “She has legally protected right to exercise her own choice of deciding where to live, where to go and where to reside.

Petitioner No.1, Mamta Devi is major and has a Post Graduate degree to her credit. She has stated before us that she had earlier even taught in an Intermediate institution and that she wants to pursue her studies further. However, her family members, especially the parents, have been creating some hurdles in her pursuing further studies.

She has also stated before the Court that her family members even earlier attempted to harm her physically and thus she does not want to live with them. It has also been stated by the Petitioner no. 1 before the Court that

though she is married, however, at the moment for certain reasons, she is not living with her husband and finding some protection with petitioner no. 2 Janki Prasad, she is presently residing with him.

She has categorically stated that she has been facing threats from her family members and accordingly this writ petition has been instituted by her along with the petitioner no. 2 seeking a direction to the police authorities to protect the petitioners and further to ensure that they are not harassed at the instance of the family members of the petitioner no. 1.

It has been stated by the petitioner no. 1 as also by the petitioner no. 2 before the Court that younger brother of the petitioner no. 2 was summoned by the police authorities of Police Station Chhapia, District Gonda and he was harassed there at the instance of the family members of the petitioner no. 1.

Accordingly, the Bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Saroj Yadav directed the police authorities, especially the Superintendent of Police (S.P.), Gonda to protect the life and liberty of the woman. 

The court also directed that it will be for the S.P., Gonda to ensure that no interference in the choice expressed and exercised by the woman is caused from any corner either from her family members or from the police authorities.

Court also said that it shall be the duty of the police authorities to see to it that no harm physically or otherwise is caused to the woman by them or by anyone including the family members of the woman. 

Mamta Devi a Post Graduate degree holder had moved the court along with a man she is living with seeking protection claiming that she wants to pursue her studies further, however, her family members, especially the parents, have been creating some hurdles in her pursuing further studies.

She had alleged that her family members had even earlier attempted to harm her physically and thus she does not want to live with them.

She had earlier informed the court that though she was married, due to some personal reasons she was not living with her husband at the moment. She had submitted that one Janki Prasad had given her some protection, therefore she had decided to reside with him. 

She had further submitted before the court that as she was living with Janki Prasad, she and Prasad were being harassed. She told that even Prasad’s younger brother was summoned by the police authorities at the instance of her family and he was harassed. 

Lastly, she had apprised the Court that some Chowki Incharge of Police Post Babhnan, District Gonda had called her on her mobile number and talked to her improperly.

Taking note of woman’s grievances, the court observed, 

What we find is that petitioner no. 1(the woman) is major and a well-educated lady. Though she is married, however, for certain personal reasons, presently she is not residing with her husband or her in-laws. However, such decision of petitioner no. 1 is impermissible to be interfered with by anyone including her family members.”

Cour also stated that any such attempt from any corner either from woman’s family members or even from police authorities will be direct infringement and interference in her fundamental rights vested in her by the Constitution namely right to life and liberty both.

Therefore, observing thus, the court disposed of the writ petition with the above stated directions. 

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