July 7, 2021 1:08:42 am
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with a Kerala High Court order rejecting the plea of a 42-year-old “spiritual guru”, who sought release of his 21-year-old “spiritual partner”, who he claimed was being illegally detained by her parents.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana noted that the man was married and had children, and observed that his antecedents do not inspire confidence. Moreover, the woman seemed to be in a fragile state of mind, the bench, which also had justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, said.
“The girl is in a fragile state of mind. She is 21 years old. She does not know what she’s doing. The mother of the petitioner also says she doesn’t trust his son… How can we give the girl to this man?”, asked the CJI as Justice Roy observed that “the antecedents of the petitioner is such that it does not inspire confidence”.
The apex court said it is not a case where it can interfere and pointed out that the high court had said that the mental state of the girl is fragile.
Appearing for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan said he was not praying that the woman be allowed to join him, but that she should be set free from detention by parents.
The CJI then referred to the Britney Spears case in the US where the pop singer is fighting a legal battle to end the conservatorship or guardianship by her father. The singer was placed in the conservatorship of her father in 2008 due to mental health issues.
“One week back, we came across a case from America where laws and culture are different. In USA, unless an adult gives a consent they can’t be given treatment. Now the entire family is on the roads because of that, since a mentally unstable person cannot give consent,” he said.
The CJI said in India, the situation in families is such that the parents will try to cover up even if their ward is mentally ill and added that in the instant case, both parents have said that their daughter had issues. “In fact, the girl went to the petitioner for treatment and he now says they developed intimacy,” said the CJI.