Lucknow, Mar 31 (PTI) The Allahabad High court has directed the state government to provide information of minor girl victims of any crime who are lodged in the Woman Protection Homes across Uttar Pradesh.

The Lucknow bench of the court has also asked as to how many of such victims have turned adult during their stay in the protection homes.

It further asked the government to place before it the policy for release of such victims from the protection homes after they attain majority because a major girl cannot be housed in protection homes against her will.

A division bench of justices D K Upadhyay and D K Singh passed the order on March 28 during a course of hearing of a Habeas Corpus petition seeking release of a girl from the protection home in Ayodhya.

Directing the principal secretary home and principal secretary child and woman welfare, the court directed them to file affidavits giving the said information within three weeks.

In-fact, the father of the victim had lodged an FIR in June 2014 that a man of his village had taken away her minor girl.

Later, the police recovered the girl and produced her before the magistrate concerned.

The magistrate had found that since the girl was minor and did not want to go with her parents, it was proper to send her to the protection home.

Since 2014, she remained in the protection home.

As she became major, a man claiming to be her husband filed a petition alleging that he had married the girl in 2014 and she is now major as per record and hence she cannot be detained in the protection home against her will.

On the direction of the court, the girl was produced in the court which asked her as to whether she wanted to go with her father or her alleged husband , she stressed that she would go with her husband who had filed the petition for her release from the protection home.

At this, the court directed for her release immediately and observed that she was free to go with anybody and only she could decide this as she was major.

The court noted that so many cases turn up in which it is found that the magistrate court directed to send the minor girl victim of a crime to protection home but even after attaining age of majority, the victims remain lodged in the home for long against her wishes until some habeas corpus petition is filed seeking interference of the HC.

Considering the issue of very public interest, the court directed the senior registrar to register the matter as PIL and place it before the appropriate court.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.