punjab and haryana high court

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a petition filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of habeas corpus for release of the detenu, the petitioner’s father-in-law, from the illegal custody of his daughter, Anoop Chitkara, J. juxtaposed the relationship of a father with his daughter and daughter-in-law, and allowed the petitioner to meet her father-in-law once a week, while restricting her from forcing anyone for such meeting in case the father-in-law refuses to meet her.

It was submitted by the State Counsel that during enquiry, the statement of the father-in-law revealed that he wanted to stay with his daughter and not the petitioner, his daughter-in-law. However, the same was countered by the petitioner’s counsel that the statement was not made by the detenu’s own free will but due to his daughter’s coercion and influence.

The Court found the argument on behalf of the petitioner to be misconceived because the relationship of a father-daughter is much older than that of the daughter-in-law with her father-in-law. Since the instant petition was based on emotional attachment, the Court allowed the petitioner to meet her father-in-law once a week for 1 hour, even in the company of a lawyer if required. The Court also allowed the petitioner to file a petition afresh in case there was some kind of coercion or influence.

The Court, however, restricted the petitioner from forcing her father-in-law or anybody else to meet him, in case he refuses to meet her when she goes to visit him. The Court clarified that the instant order shall remain in force for a month and eclipse thereafter.

[Geeta v. State of Haryana, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 1101, decided on 3-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate Nishant Chauhan;

For State: Additional Advocate General of Haryana Rajat Gautam.

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