Allahabad High Court: Saumitra Dayal Singh, J. decided on a writ petition which was filed praying for a direction the nature of mandamus directing the respondents not to interfere in the peaceful married life of the petitioners.
The counsel for the petitioner, Mr Shailesh Kumar Shukla submitted that the petitioners had attained the age of majority and that their marriage was solemnized. Petitioners further asserted that no FIR had been registered against them in respect of the same and that their marriage was solemnized with their free consent without duress on any party. The petitioners further alleged that they were being threatened and harassed by respondents for reason of having thus got married.
The Court mentioned the judgment of Lata Singh v. State of UP, (2006) 5 SCC 475 where while dealing with a case of harassment by the parents of the boy and girl, who had entered into inter-caste marriage, the Supreme Court has issued directions to the Administration /Police authorities throughout the country in the following terms:-
“This is a free and democratic country, and once a person becomes a major he or she can marry whosoever he/she likes. If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage the maximum they can do is that they can cut off social relations with the son or the daughter, but they cannot give threats or commit or instigate acts of violence and cannot harass the person who undergoes such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage. We, therefore, direct that the administration/police authorities throughout the country will see to it that if any boy or girl who is a major undergoes inter-caste or inter-religious marriage with a woman or man who is a major, the couple are not harassed by any one nor subjected to threats or acts of violence, and any one who gives such threats or harasses or commits acts of violence either himself or at his instigation, is taken to task by instituting criminal proceedings by the police against such persons and further stern action is taken against such persons as provided by law.” (emphasis supplied)
The Court further mentioned the judgment of Bhagwan Dass v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2011) 6 SCC 396 where the Supreme Court held in paragraph 28 and 29 as under:-
“28. ….. Often young couples who fall in love have to seek shelter in the police lines or protection homes, to avoid the wrath of kangaroo courts. We have held in Lata Singh case that there is nothing “honourable” in “honour” killings, and they are nothing but barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted persons with feudal minds. In our opinion honour killings, for whatever reason, come within the category of the rarest of rare cases deserving death punishment. It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilized behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate “honour” killings should know that the gallows await them.
- Let a copy of this judgment be sent to the Registrars General/ Registrars of all the High Courts who shall circulate the same to all the Judges of the Courts. The Registrars General/ Registrars of the High Courts will also circulate copies of the same to all the Sessions Judges/Additional Sessions Judges in the States/Union Territories. Copies of the judgment shall also be sent to all the Chief Secretaries/Home Secretaries/Directors General of Police of all States/Union Territories in the country. The Home Secretaries and Directors General of Police will circulate the same to all SSPs/SPs in the States/Union Territories for information.” (emphasis supplied)
The Court while disposing off the petition issued directions in order to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court. The Court further mentioned that this order was to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners from any threat arising from or being occasioned by their marriage – life and liberty being the foundation of all freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution.[Savita Diwaker v. State of U.P., 2020 SCC OnLine All 1357, decided on 20-11-2020]
Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together