HC orders handing over of teen ‘confined by parents’ to Canadian govt

Publish: 8:51 PM, April 17, 2022 | Update: 8:51 PM, April 17, 2022

The High Court on Sunday ordered the authorities concerned to hand over the 19-year-old Canadian girl, who was allegedly  confined to a house by her parents for over 10 months in the city’s Mugda area, to the representatives of the Canadian government.

The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman passed the order following a writ petition.

High Court Registrar Md Golam Rabbani was asked to take the girl to the Canadian High Commission today (Sunday).

Barrister Sara Hossain appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Md Ajiullah for the girl’s parents.

According to the writ, the girl was born in Canada. She is a Canadian citizen by birth and studies at a university there. Her parents are also Canadian citizens who came to visit Bangladesh about 10 months ago along with their daughter. When the young girl tried to return to Canada they disagreed.

The girl’s parents and grandmother confined her to their home after taking away her cell phone set, reads the writ.

At one point, the young woman informed the Canadian government and the Canadian High Commission in Dhaka about her ‘house arrest’ using land phone. She also expressed her wish to return to Canada.

Later on February 9, a general diary was logged by the Canadian High Commission at Mugda police station in the capital.

Human rights organisations Bangladesh Legal Aid Services (BLAST) and Ain O Salish Kendra also filed a writ petition with the High Court on behalf of the High Commission.

The Inspector General (IG) of Police, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Officer-in-charge (OC) of Mugda Police Station and the parents of the girl were made respondents in the writ.

Following the hearing on the writ petition on April 5, the court directed Mugda police and her parents to produce the girl before the court.

At the same time, the court issued a rule seeking explanation as to why confining a 19-year-old girl to a house for 10 months should not be declared illegal.

According to the order, the parents along with the girl were present in the court on April 12.

On that day, the court asked the parents to provide the girl with computer, internet, mobile phone sent and other essential things.

The court also ruled that the young woman cannot be barred from going to Canada if she wants.

Later the Canadian High Commission said that the Canadian government will bear all the expenses, including her educational cost.

Barrister Sara Hossain, counsel for the petitioner, submitted the statement of the Canadian High Commission in this regard.