New Delhi, October 10
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea of a 20-year-old woman against a departmental inquiry ordered by the Chhattisgarh government into her legal guardian, a senior IPS officer, allegedly marrying her biological mother despite being already married.
The woman claimed this “outrageous acts” of the state government is an “attempt to settle scores” with her father, the legal guardian, and disrobe her and her deceased biological mother of their dignity.
After hearing senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the woman, a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah issued a notice and granted an ex-parte stay on the inquiry proceedings.
“Application for filing the petition without disclosing the identity of the petitioner no.1 (woman) is allowed. Issue notice. In the meantime, no proceedings shall take place in pursuance of communication dated August 14, 2020,” the bench said in its order.
In her plea, the woman said she was born to Dr. MM on December 9, 2000. She also said that when she was nine-month-old, her mother, a divorcee, on her deathbed, passed her custody to Mrs. UG and Mr. MG (father/legal guardian).
She said this transfer of custody subsequently found validation by the order of a sub-divisional magistrate on July 30, 2003 and the order was held by a family court on October 11, 2006.
She claimed that throughout her growing years, she has found immense love and affection from the entire family, including her legal guardians and she is now pursuing an MBBS course.
The woman said that on the account of COVID-19 she returned to her family home in Delhi and it was during this stay that her father/legal guardian in order to mentally prepare her against possible onslaught around her identity and dignity informed her about the inquiry recommended by the state government.
“What is glaring is the fact that the said inquiry is premised on speculations relating to Petitioner number 1 (woman) paternity and her natural mother’s i.e Dr. MM’s relationship with Mr. MG…”, her plea said, adding that such speculation is “a despicable attack” on her dignity and also of her deceased mother’s.
The plea said, “It is submitted that certain zones of individual’s life and choices have been placed by this court beyond the interference of the state, as without such restrictions right to dignity guaranteed, which straddles across the spectrum of fundamental right shall be rendered redundant,” it said.
The plea sought quashing of the enquiry emanating from the government communication dated August 14, 2020, saying it embarks upon the constitutionally proscribed questions of her paternity and her deceased mother’s relationship with Mr MG.
It also requested restraining the state government from speculating into such questions which are constitutionally proscribed and erodes her and her deceased mother’s right to dignity and privacy.
The petition also sought directions to the state government and its officials to restrain them from circulating the documents and details pertaining to the enquiry.
“It is pertinent to note here that Mr. MG, a much celebrated IPS officer, has in last two years fallen foul of the political dispensation in the state and has relentlessly been persecuted through various FIRs and departmental inquiries against which the petitioner number 2 (Mr. MG) has been constrained to avail the remedies available under law,” it said.
The woman’s plea said that various FIRs lodged against her father/legal guardian (Mr. MG) has been stayed by the court and he is also pursuing his remedies in the Central Administrative Tribunal against his suspension.
“Such is the vindictiveness of Respondent number 1 (state) that despite the order of this court having granted stay of investigation in the three FIRs registered against Mr. MG, it continued to persecute him and carried out illegal mobile interception of his family members including her and also registered a frivolous FIR against his advocate,” the plea said.
It said that having met a roadblock in its entire endeavour “to persecute and humiliate” Mr. MG, the state government, “in its desperation to settle scores with him has now resorted to embark upon the proscribed terrain without considering the impact the same shall have on the modesty, and dignity of petitioner number 1 and her deceased mother”.
The petition said, “It is submitted that such pursuit of vengeance as has been undertaken by the respondent State and its officials erodes the very soul of constitutional morality and denigrates the status of woman to that of a chattel”. PTI