In a significant verdict, the Delhi High Court ruled that even minor children have the liberty to choose not to live with their parents. “Children have the liberty to choose not to live with their parents. Even minor children have the liberty,” the court said.
It was an oral observation by a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Deepa Sharma. The observation came during the hearing of a man’s habeas corpus plea for finding his missing daughter and transferring her charge to him. But the court denied giving up custody of the 15-year-old girl, who was found from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh recently. The girl had told the police and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) that she did not wish to go back to her parents.
It was also considered that the girl was safe at the shelter home. She may face harm if handed over to her parents. The bench said the father will have to send a plea before a magisterial court for keeping of his daughter. It said the parents can meet the girl at the shelter if she is eager to meet them.
The girl had notably escaped from a home in July last year after falling in love with a 32-year-old man. The man used to work near her household. She had wedded him in Mathura after threatening to commit suicide if he did not approve.
Her statement was recorded before a magistrate on April 25. Following which she was taken to a shelter home. Now, she did not want to return to her parents.