The Delhi High Court has granted police protection to a 23-year-old homosexual woman, who was forced to live a married life and was threatened to be “cured” of her sexual orientation. A single-judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta said that the woman is free to shift to a different location, if she would want to, asking the police to provide protection in her new house.
Despite being fully aware of her sexual orientation, the petitioner’s parents forced her to marry a man in October 2019. She had even informed her husband right after marriage, but he kept delaying breaking this news to his family. The delay in divorce was wreaking havoc on both her physical and mental well-being.
The petitioner escaped from her marital home on March 7, after her mother called her up to inform that she was in touch with a religious guru, who had promised to “cure” her of the sexual orientation.
She sought the assistance of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), an NGO in the national capital, for a safe house. The petitioner was provided temporary shelter but her parents reached there as the Delhi Police had leaked the information regarding her escape and contact details of the NGO activists.
The woman then approached the court seeking immediate direction to ensure she is provided with adequate security and protection from her family. The court categorically stated that the petitioner 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.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)