A man, who was acquitted of the charges of raping his minor wife, was on Wednesday allowed by the Delhi High Court to meet her and their infant daughter, lodged at a woman shelter home here.
A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and I S Mehta ordered the superintendent of the shelter home, Nirmal Chhaya at Hari Nagar in West Delhi, to let the man meet his wife and daughter "at all reasonable hours".
The bench also granted liberty to the man to seek release of his wife and daughter form the shelter home and asked its authorities to decide his plea by "a speaking order" within five working days after properly hearing the man.
The bench gave the order on a habeas corpus plea, which the man filed through his counsel Amresh Anand and Gaurav Grover, after the shelter home authorities denied him permission to meet his wife and child despite his acquittal of the rape charges and release from the jail in December last year.
In his petition to the court, the 27-year-old man had submitted that he had married the woman in February last year after she had turned major but as her family was against their relation, her father had lodged a kidnapping case alleging that she was only 16.
The man submitted to the court that he was arrested in May 2019 and faced trial for allegedly kidnapping and raping his wife, who was sent to Nirmal Chhaya here.
His wife was pregnant at that time, he said.
The man said in his petition that he was acquitted of rape and kidnapping charges by the trial court in December 2019 on his wife's testimony that she was a major at the time of their marriage and had left her home to marry him on her own will.
The man told the bench in his petition that after the shelter home authorities denied him permission to meet his wife and child, he wrote to the Child Welfare Committee and Nirmal Chhaya seeking their release, but he never got any reply to his letter.
Accordingly, he had approached the high court through habeas corpus plea.
Earlier on February 10, the shelter home authorities had produced the woman and child before the high court on its direction on the the man's plea.
The man had met his wife and infant daughter for the first time after his release.
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