SC orders lesbian freed
Published Media: The Kathmandu Post
Published Date: 2012-11-05
KATHMANDU- Responding to a habeas corpus writ, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered for the release of Rajani Shahi, a lesbian, from the custody of Maiti Nepal, an NGO working in the field of women issues.
A division bench of Justices Kalyan Shrestha and Girish Chandra Lal issued the order responding to a petition filed by Prem Kumari Nepali, the partner of Shahi. Nepali had moved the apex court on October 30 seeking Shahi’s release. She had argued that Shahi, who was sent to Maiti Nepal on the recommendation of the National Women Commission (NWC), was not allowed to meet anyone. The court had earlier ordered that Shahi be presented before it within three days. Even though the hearing was slated for Sunday, it could not take place.
Shahi, who was married to Pradeep Shahi 12 years ago and has a daughter, had left her husband after she met Nepali and filed for divorce along with alimony at the Kathmandu District Court. Shahi’s husband Pradeep and her family members, however, tried to separate Rajani from her partner Prem Kumari after the couple reached the district court premises on the hearing day. Even on Monday, family members tried to separate Rajani and Prem Kumari at the apex court premises, said Advocate Hari Phuyal, one of the attorneys of the petitioner.
Shahi’s family and her husband had lodged a complaint at the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range stating that she was missing. Shahi, however, moved the Patan Appellate Court in September, which issued a stay order asking authorities not to arrest Shahi and Nepali.
Later, Shahi was sent to a government-owned rehabilitation centre in Kavre following a meeting between representatives of the NWC, Rajani’s family, husband Pradeep and police authorities to ‘correct her sexual orientation.’ She was, later, transferred to Maiti Nepal after the rehabilitation centre said it doesn’t have enough space.