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Harassed, HIV+ woman moves HC

mumbai Updated: Jun 08, 2010 01:28 IST
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A 27-year-old widow who contracted AIDS from her husband has approached the Bombay High Court alleging police inaction against her uncle and aunt who have allegedly been harassing her.

The woman approached the high court after the police allegedly failed to lodge a complaint against her uncle and aunt who, she claimed, have been harassing her and her mother and trying to throw them out of their house at Khar.

A division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice A.V. Mohta has asked public prosecutor Ajey Gadkari to take instructions from the police officer concerned. The court will hear the matter after two weeks.

The woman’s advocate, Gunaratan Sadavarte, argued that her uncle got her married to a man in March 2002 without telling her that the groom was HIV positive. The woman claimed that because of financial insecurities, her mother agreed to the marriage.

The woman contracted the disease from her husband. After his death in June 2004, she returned to her mother’s place. Her petition alleged that her uncle is trying to usurp her house by harassing her and her mother.

Sadavarte alleged that on April 4, the uncle and his wife locked the complainant in a room and abused and threatened her. The complainant’s sisters rescued her.

After the incident, the woman and her mother went to the police station to lodge a first information report (FIR) against her uncle and his wife. Sadavarte alleged that the police only registered a non-cognisable offence and did not take any action against the couple.

Sadavarte said the complainant’s health is deteriorating and the harassment is causing her more mental agony. “Her CD4 count [an indicator of the body's immune system] is going down,” Sadavarte said.

The woman’s petition requests the court to direct the police to lodge an FIR against the couple.

(Names withheld to protect identity)