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Bengal woman left home on free will : Calcutta High Court

A report was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Thursday stating that a woman, whose father had complained that she had been unduly influenced by a man to leave her home, had gone of her free will.

Public prosecutor-in-charge Saibal Bapuli filed the report that the woman, who is married, has stated to him that she left her matrimonial home willingly owing to matrimonial discord and bitterness.

The woman has stated that she was staying under the care and shelter of another man against whom she has no grievance, the report said.

Directing that the petition will appear for the next hearing a week after the Christmas vacation, the division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee observed that “since it does not appear that the lady was coerced into making any statement or was under any apparent undue influence or pressure, there may not be much future in the matter”.

Hearing the petition by the father claiming that his daughter had been unduly influenced by the man, the division bench had on Monday observed that there can be no interference if an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert.

The father of the 19-year-old woman petitioned the high court, complaining that his daughter’s statement before a magistrate may not have been recorded in an atmosphere where she felt comfortable.

On an FIR by the father, the police had produced the woman before a judicial magistrate, before whom she made a statement that she had left her matrimonial home of her own will.

Upon the father’s complaint, the high court had earlier directed that the woman would meet the senior-most additional district judge in Tehatta and that sufficient care was to be taken so that she was not under any coercion or undue influence.

The bench noted that despite a clear and clean report being furnished by the additional district judge, the father harboured some suspicion.

Susmita Saha Dutta, the lawyer representing the father, had claimed before the division bench that the husband was present within the court premises at Tehatta in Nadia district when the woman appeared before the judge.

The bench directed that to allay the father’s suspicion, the woman would meet additional public prosecutor Saibal Bapuli in his chamber in Kolkata on December 23.

The bench had further directed that at the time that the woman meets Bapuli, who is representing the state in the matter, there should be no one else in the room, including her husband.

As per the order of the bench, Bapuli filed a report on Thursday wherein he said that the woman has stated that during her appearance before the judicial magistrate, Tehatta, no one else was present and that she had made her statement before the said judge of her free will.

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