Bombay high court
MUMBAI: Bombay high court has allowed a 26-year-old woman to “go with” a transgender friend after she informed the judges that she does not want to go with her parents.
The HC said she is a major and her friend is willing to take care of her. “Since the girl is a major, she would be at liberty to act as per her wish,’’ said the HC bench of Justices S P Deshmukh and N B Suryawanshi in Aurangabad on Friday.
The order was in a petition for habeas corpus (produce the body from illegal detention) filed by the 29-year-old transperson born a female and identifying as a male. He is an arts graduate who resides in a shelter in Mumbai called Transgender Welfare, Equity and Empowerment Trust Foundation.
He filed the petition before the Aurangabad bench of the HC, saying the woman was being illegally detained by her parents within the jurisdiction of that bench. Her parents were “pressurizing’’ her to get married, his petition alleged.
He also said he was earning a living while educating himself with added skills for better employment opportunities and the HC noted the girl too “appears to be resolute”. The two had met in June 2019 while he worked in another state and she was based in Aurangabad, preparing for a Masters of Technology programme. They became friends through mutual interests. In the pandemic, she moved in with her parents.
The petition said the duo met in February 2021 in Parbhani and travelled to Uttar Pradesh via Mumbai and she informed her parents she had left home voluntarily. On her father’s complaint, police took her back to her parents’ house. The petition added she again left home in April and the two decided to execute a “partnership deed” in another city to live together as consenting adults. Her father filed a missing person’s report later in June. She was in Rajasthan at the time where a local court directed her to return to her parents’ house.
While being taken back to her parents on June 22, she wrote to a women’s rights NGO, said the petition. Since the girl expressed apprehension for her safety, the HC directed the police chief of Aurangabad to “protect the girl up to the destination she wishes to go.’’