Observing that a girl’s marriage continued to be governed by the Muslim personal law, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the handing over of a minor Muslim girl’s custody to her husband.
A bench of Justice Vikas Bahl was hearing a habeas corpus petition by the husband for the release of the wife in the custody of Ashiana Home in Panchkula. The Bench was told that both the petitioner and the detainee belonged to the Muslim religion.
Seeking the petition’s dismissal, the counsel for state said the detainee was minor as her date of birth was March 15, 2006.
Justice Bahl observed that as per the reply and a statement recorded on July 28 before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Panchkula would show that the detainee had run away from her house, along with the petitioner, out of her own will.
She said her family forcibly engaged her with her maternal uncle, but she performed “nikah” with the petitioner and did not wish to stay with her family. In fact, she was married to the petitioner and wished to reside with him.
“After considering all the aspects, the coordinate Bench of this Court had further observed that in case she wishes to accompany the respondent, she would be entitled to the same. The respondent in the case was a person who had married the Muslim girl more than 15 but below 18 years of age. The law laid down in the judgment would apply to the facts of the present case,” Justice Bahl observed.