The Gujarat High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 5,000/- on a live-in partner who filed a Habeas Corpus Writ Petition to get custody of a woman who got married to another man. The Court said that the custody of the woman with her husband cannot be regarded as illegal custody as alleged by the petitioner.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Vipul M. Pancholi and Justice Hemant M. Prachchhak observed, “… the marriage of the petitioner is not solemnized with the respondent No.4. At the same time, divorce has not taken place between respondent No.4 and 5. We are, therefore, of the view that custody of respondent No.4 with respondent No.5 cannot be termed as illegal custody as alleged by the petitioner and the petitioner has no locus to file the present petition on the basis of the so-called live-in-relationship agreement.”

Advocate M.A. Husseni appeared for the petitioner while APP J.K. Shah appeared for the respondent.

In this case, a petition was filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution, wherein, he prayed that the Police Authority be directed to produce the corpus i.e., the woman before the Court, and her custody be handed over to him. The said woman was married to another man however, thereafter, she left her matrimonial house and was residing with the petitioner who was her friend.

The petitioner and the said woman entered into an agreement of a live-in relationship. It was alleged on behalf of the petitioner that the private respondents thereafter took custody of the said woman illegally, and hence, she was in illegal custody of her husband.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of both parties asserted, “… we are not inclined to entertain the present petition. Accordingly, this petition is dismissed with cost of Rs.5,000/-.” The Court, therefore, directed the petitioner to deposit Rs. 5,000/- with the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority within a period of six weeks.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the plea.

Cause Title- Bhagwan Rajabhai Chaudhari v. State of Gujarat

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