Gujarat High Court Has Imposed A Penalty Of Rs 35,000 On A Man Who Had Filed A Petition Seeking Custody Of His Niece, Who Wished To Marry Against The Family Wishes

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Case Title: Machhi Navinbhai Motibhai vs State of Gujarat

A division bench of Justice AS Supehia and Justice Vimal Vyas of Gujarat High Court imposed a cost of Rs 35,000 on a man for filing a baseless habeas corpus petition.

“The present petition of habeas corpus appears to be a sheer abuse of process of law in order to harass the corpus (niece) and the respondent No.3 (partner). Hence, we are imposing exemplary costs of Rs 35,000 on the petitioner, which shall be deposited with this court within 10 days”.

The petitioner had filed the petition with the sole intention of harassing his niece, who wished to marry against her family’s wishes.

The court observed that the parents of the 20-year-old niece had no objection to her living with her partner.

According to court proceedings, the parents of the petitioner’s niece had divorced, and it was previously agreed upon that the petitioner would gain custody of the niece once she reached 18 years of age.

According to the submission, the woman had been residing with her uncle when she eloped with a man against her family’s wishes, with the uncle contending that she was coerced into the relationship. However, upon the Court’s personal interaction with the woman and her partner, it was determined that the claims made by the uncle were false.

The couple has expressed that they have already conducted an engagement ceremony and plan to wed in the near future, once the groom turns 21 later this month.

The Court also took note of the niece’s allegation that her uncle was threatening her and demanding a payment of Rs 10 lakhs.

The bench was further told that the woman’s partner was even beaten up by her uncle and other relatives and paraded in the village. 

The bench said “Under these circumstances, the Police Officer of the concerned Police Station is directed to provide protection to both, the corpus and respondent no. 3 (her partner) as and when they request for the same. The petitioner (uncle) or his relatives shall not be allowed to meet the girl or her husband and they should not make any attempt to meet the couple”

The bench dismissed the Habeas Corpus petition.

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