The Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that a woman cannot be forced by her family to get married, reported Live Law. The court was hearing a case filed by a 26-year-old woman, accusing her parents of forcing her to get married against her will.
The woman had left her house in Rajasthan’s Dhaulpur after being pressurised by her family to get married. However, the Rajasthan Police took her forcibly from Delhi based on a kidnapping complaint filed by her family, according to PTI. She approached the Delhi Commission for Women and filed a petition through her friend, seeking her own protection and safety.
The woman told the court that she was forcefully picked up by police officers from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area. She said that she was “forced into a car violently” by a male officer of the Rajasthan Police, who was not in uniform, according to Live Law. She added that her mobile phone was snatched away by the police and that they even consumed alcohol while on their way back to Dhaulpur, PTI reported.
The woman alleged that the police took her away even as she informed them that she was not kidnapped or abducted and was staying in Delhi of her own free will.
On being asked to explain the police’s action, Additional Superintendent Of Police Vasudev Singh informed the court that the woman was taken away with the intention of producing her before a magistrate, to record her statement in relation to the FIR filed by her family, according to Live Law.
To this, the court said that the woman should have been produced before the a metropolitan magistrate in Delhi. “There was no purpose to be achieved in driving her away to Rajasthan against her will,” the court added.
The court also took exception to the way the police treated the woman and asked Rajasthan Home Department to launch an investigation into the matter.
“All these allegations, if true, raise very serious issues with regard to the working of the police force,” the court said. “Being a woman, it was not open for the male force to forcibly push [her] into a car.”
After speaking to the woman’s father, the court noted that the family has agreed not to force her to get married.
The case will be heard next on December 1. The court directed the Delhi Police to take her to the residence of social activist Shabnam Hashmi, the woman’s friend, after she wanted “some time and space for herself”, Live Law reported.