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Married Against Wishes of Khap Panchayat, JNU's Married Couple Say 'Hostel Our Only Home'; Delhi HC Asks Authorities Not To Prevent Their Re-Entry [Read Order]

Karan Tripathi
4 July 2020 12:44 PM GMT
Married Against Wishes of Khap Panchayat, JNU
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Delhi High Court has provided relief to a couple who was denied re-entry into Jawaharlal Nehru University's married couples hostel after they returned from the field work research.

The Single Bench of Justice Najmi Waziri took into record the assurance given by the University that considering the special circumstances, the couple will be allowed re-entry to the hostel subject to certain conditions.

The Petitioner has argued that he has been living in JNU's married couples hostel for the last five years along with his wife.

Just before the nationwide lockdown, he had gone out for some field-work along with his spouse. Recently, when they tried to re-enter the University, they were denied entry. They have been denied access to their personal belongings and to only shelter they have known for the last few years.

The Petitioner informed the court that he got married to his spouse by going against the wishes of his family and that of the khap panchayat. Therefore, he can't go back to his native place.

The Petitioner further contended that they neither have alternative accommodation nor will anyone provide them shelter, especially during the pandemic.

In response to their plea, the University submitted that:

  1. no intimation was given to the University, before the Petitioner went on a field-work, accompanied with his spouse;
  2. the Petitioner ought to have extended his stay where he was staying during his field-work, before the lockdown period came into force.
  3. the proposed examinations of the Petitioner's spouse, have been postponed.

Stepping in at this moment, the court observed that the University married couples' hostel, is the only home where the Petitioner and his spouse have been staying for the past few years, their access to the same cannot be denied to them except by the due process of law.

The court said:

'Simply because they had gone out on some field- work, he cannot be denied re-entry. They have no other place to go and it the petitioner is unlikely to get an alternate accommodation in a hurry especially in trying pandemic times. Since the allotment subsists they cannot be shut out. They should not be prevented from living in the allotted accommodation.'

Taking note of these observations by the court, the counsel appearing for the University took further instructions from the University and then submitted that University has reconsidered the Petitioner's case and because of his special circumstances, he and his spouse will be forthwith allowed re-entry and resumption of habitation in their allotted University accommodation.

However, the University's counsel further submitted that this reconsideration, may not be cited as a precedent, as it has been done only in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.

While disposing of the petition, the court took into consideration the fact that the Petitioner shall abide by the University's Circulars, referring to regulations issued by the Ministry of AYUSH, concerning precautionary measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]

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