The High Court of Kerala, through the learned Division Bench of Justice K Vinod Chandran & Justice C Jayachandran in the case of Adhila v Commissioner of Police & Ors (WP(CRL.) NO. 476 OF 2022) reunited a lesbian couple after one of the partners was forcibly taken away by her family.
BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE: The petitioner Aadhila and her partner Fathima have been in love since high school. They faced severe aversion from their families, due to their decision to live together as a couple. The petitioner and her co-partner took shelter in a Safe home in Kozhikode, after which they informed the same to their parents. The couple was later taken to the residence of a relative of the petitioner on the promise of settlement by their families. The petitioner was assaulted by her father, and her partner was forcibly taken away by her family. The detainee was isolated in her parents’ house and was not allowed to contact the petitioner. It came to the knowledge of the petitioner that her partner was being subjected to illegal conversion therapy. The petitioner firstly approached the police station and filed a complaint. Unhappy with the approach of the Police authorities, the petitioner uploaded a video on Facebook addressing her concerns, which later went viral on various social media platforms. The petitioner, who sought shelter in a safe home in Aluva, filed a writ petition (Habeas Corpus) for the release of her partner. The High Court relied upon the report submitted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Aluva, which stated that an FIR was lodged against the father of the petitioner for assaulting her. In the perusal of the case proceedings, the petitioner and her partner, along with their families, were assembled at the Binanipuram Police Station in the presence of the Government Pleader. The Government Pleader informed the Court that the families of the couple were amenable to the settlement of the issue.
FINDINGS OF THE COURT: The Court issued directions for the production of the couple before the Court of law, following the reliance given by the Government Pleader. The petitioner and her partner stood firm in their resolve to continue their relationship. Upon being asked whether there was illegal detention, the detainee affirmed that she had no complaint regarding her family and wished to go with the petitioner. The Circle Inspector of Police Sunil V.R, Binanipuram Police Station, Ernakulam Rural, produced consent letters produced by both the families in favour of the couple’s relationship. The Court remarked that both the petitioner and partner were adults who should be let to live their lives as per their informed choice. The Court directed the couple to be taken back to the safe home as per their desire. The Court dismissed the writ petition remarking that the Court had no intention to hold the couple back since they wished to move to Chennai and join for employment at the Metro, as indicated by the appointment letters submitted to the Court.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K