March 11, 2021 1:36:09 am
THE DELHI High Court Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to provide protection to a 23-year-old homosexual woman, who was forced by her family to marry a man in 2019, and has now run away from her matrimonial home. Issuing notice in her plea to the Delhi government, police and her family members, the court also asked the police to ensure that no members of the NGO providing her assistance are harmed or harassed.
In the petition filed through advocates Vrindra Grover and Soutik Banerjee, the court was told that the parents of the women were fully cognizant of her sexual orientation and identification as a “lesbian woman” but forcibly got her married to a man and coerced her to continue living in a heterosexual relationship.
The woman in the petition also alleged that she was being harassed by her in-laws, and her parents earlier this month told her that they have contacted a “religious guru” to “cure” her of the sexual orientation. Fearing grave threat to her mental health and her life, as per the petition, she left her matrimonial home on March 7.
“The petitioner told her husband that she would like to file for divorce, as the continuance of their marriage was adversely affecting her mental health and physical well-being, and since she had a different sexual orientation, there was no scope for either of them to experience fulfillment within the marriage. However, on some pretext or the other, the petitioner’s husband delayed breaking this news to his family and the petitioner continued to live in the misery of a life she did not identify with,” her counsel said in the petition.
The woman in the petition also alleged that the Delhi Police in “brazen breach of law and their statutory obligations” had leaked the information regarding her escape and contact details of the activists of ANHAD NGO to her father and other family members. The woman had earlier approached the police for help.
“The father of the petitioner accompanied by other male members of the extended family have been incessantly calling and harassing the social activists and threatening to lodge cases against them if the petitioner was not handed over to them,” reads the petition, adding that her husband and father-in-law enjoy significant clout.
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