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SC reunites ’13-yr-old’ UP girl with her husband

Vaishali said she is 19 years old and the AIIMS medical board, set up by the SC, verified her claim.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reunited a ’13-year-old’ girl with her husband.

Vaishali, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, eloped with her boyfriend and married him in November 2017. In turn, her family filed a case of kidnapping and abducting a minor in the Allahabad high court.

On December 5, 2011, the HC declared the girl as a minor and sent her to a women’s home, Nari Niketan, on the basis of a CBSE marksheet provided by the girl’s family, which said that Vaishali was born on September 25, 2003.

Vaishali said she is 19 years old and that the age in the marksheet is incorrect. The couple expressed their desire to live with each other and challenged this decision in the Supreme Court.

Quick justice

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra settled the case in just three dates. The bench, comprising of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, said that this is a habeas corpus petition and that justice will be incomplete in this matter as long as there is a criminal case against the young man.

The Chief Justice annonced the verdict and said, “The court also dismisses the case of kidnapping filed by Vaishali’s family against Neeraj in the High Court.”

Vaishali’s petition

Vaishali told the Supreme Court that she is 19 years old and that the age in her marksheet (13 years 8 months) is incorrect. Vaishali said that as an adult she should be allowed to decide who to live with and pleaded to be released from Nari Niketan.

She had demanded that a medical board be set up to ascertain her age. The Allahabad High Court considered the marksheet as evidence and rejected her plea to set up a board. The SC gave her a chance.

All it took was three dates in SC

April 6: The SC bench asked victim Vaishali to appear before the court

April 23: Vaishali appeared before the court and asked it to set up a medical board to ascertain her age. The SC asked AIIMS to set up a board and present the report in two days. The girl was under the supervision of Government lawyer Aishwarya Bhati in the UP Bhavan in Delhi for two days when her medical examination in AIIMS was conducted.

April 26: AIIMS presented the report in the Supreme Court and said that Vaishali is between 19 and 24 years of age. On the basis of the report, the court canceled the High Court’s decision and issued the order to hand over Vaishali to her husband, Neeraj.

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