Detaining under no valid grounds amounts to wrongful confinement: Kerala High Court

Detaining a person, with no valid grounds against him/her for being in custody, is wrongful confinement. The detenue must be released by the order of the court. This principle was upheld by the Kerala High Court presided by J. K. VINOD CHANDRAN & J. M.R. ANITHA in the case of Thahira I. vs State of Kerala [WP(Crl.).No.59 OF 2021].

In the present case, Petitioner is alleged that her daughter aged 19 years, the detenue, is under the wrongful confinement of the respondent. It was also submitted before Court that the daughter of the petitioner had been duped and she had proceeded with the respondent on his promise of marrying her. It was submitted that the respondent was already married and had two children. The detenue stated categorically that though she had gone with the respondent, it was on the promise that he will marry her. In fact there was misrepresentation with respect to the earlier marriage, since the respondent had told her that he was already divorced. The detenue has also submitted that she had physical relationship with the respondent, which consent was only on the promise of his marrying her and on the information that he was already divorced.

The learned Senior Government Pleader submitted that the daughter of the petitioner had appeared before the, Station House Officer, along with the respondent. Before production before this Court, she was produced on the digital platform before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Nedumangad. Before the Magistrate she had submitted that she had gone with the respondent on her own free will. However, later she came to know that the respondent had not divorced his earlier wife and still the marriage subsisted. It was in such circumstances that the daughter of the petitioner has expressed her desire to go with her mother.

The honorable court while taking a note of the above mentioned facts asserted, “The mother/petitioner also present before us and the daughter of the petitioner is allowed to go with her mother. The police would first produce her before the Station House Officer, the 3rd respondent, who shall record her First Information Statement and from there she shall be sent for medical examination and further steps taken in accordance with law. The writ petition is disposed of with the above direction, allowing the daughter of the petitioner, the detenue, to go along with the petitioner.”

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