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Delhi High Court asks police to ensure safety of 'forcibly' married lesbian woman

By Our Representative 

The Delhi High Court bench of Mukta Gupta J on March 10, 2021 has issued notice in a petition, where the petitioner is a lesbian woman who claims she had been married against her wishes to a man and has insisted that she was being forced to live a married life and was threatened to be "cured" of her sexual orientation.
The woman, who escaped from her marital home on March 7, 2021, sought the assistance of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) a socio-cultural in New Delhi, was provided temporary shelter run by another NGO, but her family members reached the premises of the safe house and asked for her to be handed over to them, said an ANHAD communique.
The court directed the Delhi Police to ensure that the petitioner is provided complete protection, and that no NGO members are harassed or harmed for helping her, ANHAD said, adding, the court also stated that an adult woman cannot be forced to stay with her marital or parental family against her wishes.
The judge also interacted with the petitioner and her husband, and directed that steps may be taken at the earliest for dissolution of the marriage. “The petitioner is also at liberty to shift to a different location if she so pleases, and Delhi Police shall take all necessary steps to provide protection to the Petitioner at her new location”, ANHAD said.
The petitioner was represented by senior advocate Vrinda Grover and Delhi Police was represented by Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra.

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