Both women claimed to be his wife. Now, one stays with him at their home while the other was granted the right to meet him for an hour every week. Thanks to a court order, both women get to spend time with the man — who is in a coma — till it is established who the legally wedded wife is.
The rare order was passed by the Delhi High Court on a petition moved by one of the women, who alleged that the other woman and her son have “illegally detained” her husband after getting him released from a hospital in Delhi.
The habeas corpus petition asked for production of the man before the court.
Admitting the petition, a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal called for a police report. The court was told that the man was found at a house in Uttam Nagar. Police added that the woman present in the house claimed to be his wife, and said she was taking care of her husband as he is in a coma.
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At this, the bench asked the woman and her son to show up in the court. Appearing through a counsel, the mother told the bench that she was the legally wedded wife.
The counsel said the man had been admitted to hospital for treatment. Their lawyer contended that even if the petitioner had married the man, their marriage would be invalid under the Hindu Marriage Act which prohibits second marriage.
But the petitioner disputed the status of the mother-son duo and claimed she was the legally wedded wife. She accused the duo of whisking away the man from the hospital, owing to his medical condition. The petitioner also asked for visitation rights to meet the man at least once a week.
With the man lying in a coma, the bench found itself at a difficulty to determine the rights of the two women. Inclined to make an interim arrangement, the bench allowed the petitioner to meet the man for an hour every week and restrained the mother-son duo from stopping her.
“As agreed, the petitioner will be allowed to meet him every Wednesday between 5- 6 pm in the presence of the investigating officer, any other woman constable… The petitioner undertakes not to create any nuisance during her meeting,” ordered the bench.
Adjourning the matter for July 21, the court also said the interim arrangement is made till the next date of hearing.