Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 6
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a 42-year-old spiritual guru’s plea for release of his 21-year-old live-in partner from her parents’ alleged illegal custody in Kerala, saying his credentials were suspect and the girl was in a fragile state of mind.
A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana referred to pop star Britney Spears’ case in the US where she is fighting a legal battle to end conservatorship by her family. The pop star has been under the comprehensive conservatorship of her father following her breakdown more than a decade ago.
The spiritual guru — Kailas Natarajan — had moved the Supreme Court challenging a Kerala High Court order rejecting his habeas corpus petition seeking the release of his 21-year-old woman he called his spiritual partner.
Noting that the petitioner’s credentials were suspect, the Bench said, :The girl is in fragile state of mind. She is 21 and does not know what she is doing. The man (spiritual guru) is married with two children.”
The facts of the case and the petitioner’s antecedents did not inspire confidence, it added.
Citing the Spears case, it said in the US unless an adult gave consent, he/she cannot be given any form of medical or psychiatric treatment. “Now, the entire family is on the road because of that, since a mentally unstable person can/t give consent,” the Bench said.
On behalf of the petitioner, senior counsel Sankaranarayanan contended that the woman was an adult illegally detained by her parents.
“There is nothing illegal. She is with her parents…You also know about some of these gurus,” the Bench told Sankaranarayanan citing parents’ concern about such spiritual gurus.
“He is also involved in a POCSO (child sexual abuse) case. How can we give this girl to this man?” the Bench asked.
The top court directed the Kerala High Court Registrar General to ask the district judge concerned to interact with the woman and her parents after a month and send a report on her condition to it.