Kerala guru on partner’s detention: SC grants liberty to approach HC again


Sreya Kanugula

On February 1st, 2021, the SC rejected a petition that was filed by a spiritual guru which challenged the order given by the High Court of Kerala, which in turn dismissed a petitioner’s habeas corpus plea that stated her alleged illegal detention by her parents.

The bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian made the observation that there laid a huge difference between a petitioner being in the custody of her parents and illegal detention.

However, the court gave liberty to the guru to make a second approach to the Kerala High Court seeking an investigation into the matter of the illegal detention.

They also made the observation that the High Court hadn’t found any categorical finding that the 21-year-old woman, Laxmi was being detained illegally by her own parents. It stated that it was obvious that an illegal detention finding needed to be produced to show a sine qua non in the case of a habeas corpus petition.

Sr. Adv. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who appeared to represent the petitioner, made the submission that she had denied being married to the guru and had called their relationship divine.

Since then, she had been placed in detention and there was no contact from her side.

The bench had further stated that “We are looking for a case of illegal detention. We are looking for a finding whether she has been illegally detained in her house. We want you to go to the HC and find out whether she is illegally detained or in custody of her parents. Mental illness is another aspect. We see the finding that she is in custody of her parents. There is a doubt about her mental condition.

Mr. Sankarnarayanan had made a mention of the Mental Health Act’s Section 4 which states that a person who is mentally ill will not be allowed to take her decision.

The law did not consider an adult or spouse’s custody. The lawyer also added that Ms. Laxmi was a gold medallist and now they’re stating that she’s mentally ill.

Despite the argument brought forth, the inference drawn by the bench was that the woman wasn’t being detained illegally.

The Keralite spiritual practitioner approached the SC on the allegation that his divine live-in partner was being forcefully detained by her parents and had challenged the order given by the High Court of Kerala denying the woman to be released from the custody of her parents.

Allegations on her being subjected to torture as well as physical violence by the parents were also made by the petitioner on the reasoning that the woman had taken up the “practice of the Vedantic principles of moksha, sannyasa, and divine yoga” along with the said petitioner.

Read more: SC issues notices to govt in plea seeking to declare Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary public holiday

Related Post