18 Sep 2023 1:50 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court has observed that an individual's right to choose a life partner cannot be affected by matters of faith and religion and that the right to marry is an “incident of human liberty.”Justice Saurabh Banerjee said that it is not for the State or the society or even the parents of the parties involved to, in any way, dictate the choice of life partner or curtail and...
The Delhi High Court has observed that an individual's right to choose a life partner cannot be affected by matters of faith and religion and that the right to marry is an “incident of human liberty.”
Justice Saurabh Banerjee said that it is not for the State or the society or even the parents of the parties involved to, in any way, dictate the choice of life partner or curtail and limit such rights of an individual when it involves “two consenting adults.”
“When the Constitution of India guarantees to each individual the right to freely practice, profess and propagate any religion, it also guarantees every individual the autonomy for these aspects in matters of marriage,” the court said.
The court made the observations while granting protection to a couple who alleged that the were receiving constant threats from the family members of the woman. The couple, both major, got married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, on July 31.
They sought police protection claiming that the woman’s family was threatening them as they belonged to different religions and got married against the parents wishes.
“The right to marry is an incident of human liberty. The right to marry a person of one’s choice is not only underscored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but is also an integral facet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees the right to life,” the court said while allowing the plea.
Justice Banerjee also observed that the woman’s parents cannot be permitted to threaten the life and liberty of the couple “who do not require any social approval for their personal decisions and choices.”
“Article 21 of the Constitution of India gives Protection of Life and Personal Liberty to all persons whereby it is the inherent right of every individual to exercise personal choices, especially in matter relating to marriage. Thus, in the opinion of this Court, the petitioners herein are well and truly entitled for protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the court said.
Justice Banerjee directed that the contact number of the concerned Beat Constable and SHO shall be provided to the couple who shall be free to call or get in touch with either of them, as and when the need so arises.
“Needless to say that the SHO concerned and Beat Constable shall also take all possible steps to provide the adequate assistance and protection, as needed, to the petitioners, in accordance with law,” the court added.
Advocates Gurpreet Singh and Kamal appeared for the petitioners.
ASC Sanjeev Bhandari appeared for the State.
Case Title: MUSKAN SINGH & ANR. v. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ORS
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 845
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