The Bombay High Court on Monday permitted a girl from Rajasthan,who claimed she was forced into prostitution by her family,to marry a Mumbai-based youth.
While ruling in the girls favour,the HC directed the Bangur Nagar police to release her from a remand home in Kandivli where she is lodged.
The order was passed in response to a petition filed by the youth who intends to marry her,on behalf of the girl. He works as a driver with a private firm.
The girl claims that in the community she belongs,Girls are never sent to school and are forced to work as prostitutes on attaining puberty,which is a source of income for the family. When the girl is married off,a huge amount is taken from the groom.
She claimed that her family forced her to work as a bar dancer and prostitute from the age of 14. Two of her sisters have also faced the same fate,she said.
It was at such an establishment in Kurla that she claims to have met the man. They later decided to marry,but could not do so as they had no documents to prove that they were above the age of 18. However,she lived with the youth for about two years.
According to her petition,on March 3,she came to know that a missing complaint had been filed by her brother with the Bangur Nagar police and she immediately appeared before the police along with the person she intended to marry.
Police referred the girl for age assessment,which confirmed that she was between 18 to 19 years. However,in spite of the assessment,police sent her to the remand home,after which she approached the court through her partner.
The division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode directed the police to release her from the remand and allow her to marry.
Speaking to Newsline,additional public prosecutor Mankunkwar Deshmukh said,Judges expressed their shock on coming on knowing of such a custom,and wondered how it could be prevalent in the present time.