Madras HC dismisses kidnap allegations, allows teen to go with husband

The duo's marriage earlier this week stirred a lot of caste-based tension and received severe criticism from the family since the two of them had a 16-year age gap, combined with the fact that the woman was a Brahmin, while the man was a Dalit

A Prabhu, an MLA from Kallakurichi (Tamil Nadu), married a woman, Soundarya, 16 years younger to him, on October 5 and the media as well as social media got flooded with vituperative comments against the couple based on caste, age, colour and education.

The Madras High Court on Friday (October 9) dismissed the allegations of kidnapping in a habeus corpus petition filed by a 19-year-old woman’s father and allowed her to be with her husband, A Prabhu, who was a 35-year-old AIADMK lawmaker.

The duo’s marriage earlier this week stirred a lot of caste-based tension and received severe criticism from the family since the two of them had a 16-year age gap, combined with the fact that the woman was a Brahmin, while the man was a Dalit.

The couple had reportedly fallen in love over the last few months and gotten married with mutual consent.

Soundarya, the daughter of a Brahmin priest Swaminathan, appeared in the High Court on Friday and refuted allegations of kidnap by her husband.

She was allowed to speak to her father after which she told the judges that she wanted to go with her husband.

Related news: Dalit AIADMK MLA weds Brahmin woman to script new story

According to Soundarya, her family had known the AIADMK MLA for more than a decade and that Prabhu had always been welcome at their house until the wedding on Monday.

Swaminathan had called the relationship a “breach of trust”, and accused the MLA of entering into a relationship with his daughter while she was still a minor and entrapping her. “Prabhu was in love with my daughter for four years, even when she was a minor. She was under his control,” he alleged, according to NDTV.

He had earlier said he opposed the marriage “not because of caste, (but) because of age difference”, but did not mention this in court.

Talking to NDTV, Prabhu said he was hopeful that the relationship with his in-laws will soon improve. “Till I was 30, I was busy with politics… during lockdown, I had close interaction with her (his wife) and we fell in love… I have known my wife’s father for many years and we had close ties. He has even fed me with his own hands and prayed for my success. I feel there are some political forces that have poisoned his mind against me,” he said.

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