[Habeas Corpus] Detainee illegally confined by parents over her relationship with a transgender man to be taken to the place of her choice: Rajasthan HC

rajasthan high court

Rajasthan High Court: In a petition filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution to produce the corpus of the detainee who was in the illegal custody of the detainee’s father, the Division Bench of Pankaj Bhandari and Bhuwan Goyal, JJ., noted that the detainee was produced before the Court and stated that she had been detained by her father. The Court further stated that the detainee should be taken to the place of her choice under police protection and disposed of the present petition.

In an instant case, the petitioner filed the present petition on behalf of his partner, who was detained and illegally confined by her father, Respondent 4 at their residence since 21-10-2023 with active support from the police.

The petitioner stated that he was a transgender man, and he and the detainee were partners who wish to live together as a couple. The detainee was under immense pressure from her family to get married and since, the petitioner belonged to the transgender community, the detainee feared that her family would oppose her relationship with the petitioner. Thereafter, on 11-10-2023, in order to evade being married against her will, the detainee travelled to Rajkot without informing the parents to live with the petitioner. Further, on 14-10-2023, the detainee’s father filed an FIR against unknown persons and alleged that the offence under Section 366 of the Penal Code, 1860 had been committed and on the very same day, the Rajasthan Police apprehended the petitioner and the detainee from their residence.

On 16-10-2023, the detainee was summoned to record her statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’), wherein the detainee stated that she had travelled to Rajkot of her own volition, and she was under no force or coercion from the petitioner. Thereafter, on 18-10-2023, the detainee and her parents visited Rajkot to meet the petitioner and his parents, and on learning that the petitioner was a transgender man, the detainee’s parents rejected the relationship between the detainee and the petitioner. The detainee’s father and the family badly beat up the detainee and took her along with them.

On 25-10-2023, the petitioner received a picture of a handwritten note from the detainee, wherein it was stated that she was being held captive by her family and she was also being beaten up and molested by her father. The detainee sought the petitioner’s help to save her life. Subsequently, the petitioner reached the detainee’s parents’ residence and helped the detainee escape from her parent’s house. However, the detainee and the petitioner were intercepted by the police and were taken to the police station, where all their belongings were confiscated and the detainee was handed over to her father, by the police.

Thereafter, on 12-11-2023, the petitioner received a message from the detainee, that she was being tortured and beaten up every day and on 23-11-2023, the detainee’s family forcefully got her engaged. The petitioner further stated that the physical and mental torture that was being meted out to the detainee drove her to commit suicide and on 01-12-2023, the detainee tried to commit suicide by ingesting multiple sleeping pills. However, the detainee survived.

Further on 05-12-2023 and 11-12-2023, the petitioner wrote emails to High Court, Supreme Court, District Magistrate of Sawai Madhopur, Director General of Police, Jaipur and the National Commission for Women, and sought intervention of the authorities. Subsequently, the local police visited the detainee at her parents’ address and despite repeated requests to be rescued from torture, confinement and harassment, the police took no action.

Therefore, the petitioner stated that the police’s actions were directly responsible for putting the detainee’s life and well-being in immediate peril. The petitioner stated that it was manifestly clear that the detainee’s life and well being was an imminent danger and the respondents had failed to protect the detainee’s right under Article 21 of the Constitution. Thus, the petitioner had filed the present petition to seek immediate release of the detainee from the illegal captivity of her parents.

The Court noted that the detainee was produced before the Court and stated that she had been detained by her father. The Court further stated that the detainee should be taken to the place of her choice under police protection and disposed of the present petition.

[XYZ v. State of Rajasthan, 2024 SCC OnLine Raj 48, Order dated 08-01-2024]]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

For the Petitioner: Alind Chopra and Naman Maheshwari, Advocates

For the Respondents: N.A. Naqvi, Sr. Adv. (AAG) along with Syed Adeel Naqvi, Advocate; Premendra Kumar, C.I., S.H.O.

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