New Delhi, Jan 6: Coming down hard on the societal pressure on women, the Supreme Court on Friday declared that an adult woman has a right to live a life of her own choice. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said, “It needs no special emphasis to state that attaining the age of majority in an individual’s life has its own significance. S/he is entitled to make her/his choice.” Also Read - UP Governor Gives Assent to Ordinance Against Forcible Religious Conversions
“The courts cannot, as long as the choice remains, assume the role of a legal protector. The daughter is entitled to enjoy her freedom as the law permits and the court should not assume the role of super guardian being moved by any kind of sentiment of the mother or egotism of the father. We say so without any reservation,” the bench said. Also Read - BMC Might Move Supreme Court Against HC's Decision in Kangana Ranaut Property Demolition Case
“Attainment of majority in an individual’s life has its own significance. One is entitled to make a choice. Courts cannot, as long as the choice remains, assume the role of parents,” it said. (Also Read: Why Has Complaint Committee Not Been Set up to Deal With Sexual Exploitation at Work, Asks SC) Also Read - Strict COVID-19 Rules on Card as Supreme Court Asks Centre to Take The Lead Amid Sudden Spurt in COVID Cases
The court on Friday also allowed a 20-year-old girl to stay with her father in Kuwait to pursue her studies against her India-based mother’s objections. Before rejecting the mother’s plea seeking to wrest custody of her daughter, the apex court interacted with the girl and ascertained her choice.
The 20-year-old girl said she was pursuing graduation from Indira Gandhi National Open University and is simultaneously doing an internship in Huawei Technologies Kuwait Co. She told the court that she would like to stay with her father in Kuwait to continue her studies. While the bench allowed the girl to stay with her father, it also ordered the estranged husband to send their 13-year-old son to the mother in Kerala during the summer vacations.