NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court recently directed the parents and kin of a 22-year-old lesbian woman to undergo counselling to prepare themselves to accept her “as per her wishes”.
The court’s order came on a habeas corpus petition by the woman’s friend who claimed that she was “missing” and police managed to produce her before the court. The plea feared that the woman might be harmed by her parents who were unhappy with the union.
When the woman appeared before the bench, the judges, after interacting with the parties involved, directed police to make arrangements for her boarding and lodging at a shelter home. The woman told the court that she was not willing to accompany her parents or any relative and would either go with the petitioner or to a shelter home.
The court asked the director of the shelter home to provide “counselling sessions” to the woman during her stay there till the parents make up their mind. It also observed that her family members should also be counselled on alternate days by the shelter home director so that they were willing to accept the decision made by their adult daughter.
The bench made it clear that the “parents and all other concerned” must make sure “not to extend any kind of threat or undue pressure upon” their daughter and the petitioner.
“It is further directed that parents of (the woman) shall also be counselled at least on an alternative day to prepare them to accept (her) as per her wishes. The parents and maternal uncle are directed to approach the aforesaid shelter home for counselling, who shall be counselled by the director, and if they wish for further counselling, they shall be counselled accordingly, on the alternate days, thereafter,” the court stated.
It recorded that the parents of the woman “agreed” before the court that she should be sent to the shelter home to “reflect and introspect about her future”.

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