The Madras High Court on Friday allowed Kallakurichi MLA of the AIADMK Prabhu to leave with his wife Soundharya, after she was produced before the bench. The court ruled that the 19-year-old woman is an adult who has willingly chosen to marry the 35-year-old legislator and that the case of abduction filed by her father does not hold.
A temple priest and AIADMK party member S Swaminathan had approached the Madras High Court on Monday alleging that his daughter had been abducted by the Dalit MLA and was forced to marry him. He further stated in his petition that he was threatened by the MLA's family when he questioned and filed a habeas corpus petition asking for his daughter to be produced in court.
The priest further told the media that Prabhu was 15 years older than his daughter and that the age gap raised questions about whether she consented to the marriage. He claimed that the MLA was in an illegal relationship with his daughter for three years, before she became an adult. Speaking to TNM, however, the legislator said that though he had know Soundharya's family for 10 years, the couple fell in love five months ago.
On Friday, Soundharya came to court with her husband and told the bench comprising Justices MM Sundaresh and Krishnakumar that she is and adult and that nobody compelled her to get married. She stated that she and Prabhu were in love and decided to marry each other. She further added that she is going with her husband out of her own free will. Her father, meanwhile, brought up the age difference again in court and said that Prabhu had cheated his family.
The court, however, finally ruled in favour of the MLA and said that owing to the fact that Soundharya is an adult, it was up to her to take a call on going with her husband. The case was closed.