The Kerala High Court has ordered grant of adequate police protection to a Muslim man and Hindu woman who intend to get married. This was ordered in a review petition filed by the man, seeking to recall an earlier order passed by the court dismissing the habeas corpus petition filed by him. The review was sought on the ground that the woman was made to disown him before the court under threat and coercion. The Muslim man and Hindu woman wanted to live together as husband and wife, and had given notice of marriage under the Special Marriage Act. At that juncture, the woman was allegedly abducted and kept under confinement at the instance of her parents.
The man filed a habeas corpus petition before the high court, seeking release of woman from detention, and also protection for their marriage. When the woman was produced before the court on February 23, she expressed her wish to stay with her parents, and stated that she did not want to marry the man. On the basis of that submission, the high court had dismissed the habeas corpus petition.
Now, the man has filed a review petition, stating that the submission made by the woman on February 23 was out of fear. It is alleged in the review petition that the woman was kept under illegal confinement at a yoga centre namely Sivasakthi Yoga Centre, near Thrippunithura, Cochin, by her parents. She was allegedly subjected to severe torture and harassment at the yoga centre, in order to force her to withdraw from the relationship. It is further alleged that there were attempts to characterize her as a mental patient. On February 23, the goons from the yoga centre had allegedly accompanied the woman to the court under the guise of her relatives and it was due to their pressure and coercion that she had to disown the man before the court, alleged the review petition. It is further stated in the petition that the woman had adventurously escaped from detention and have joined the company of the man. Their attempts to get the marriage registered are getting thwarted. On the strength of the judgment rendered by the high court on February 23, they are being harassed and their attempts to get the marriage registered are not attaining success. Hence, the review of the earlier judgment is sought. The man also complained that he was falsely portrayed as a terrorist in the earlier proceedings merely on the basis of his religious identity. The man and woman are stated to be in the run for protection from the threat posed by the goons of the yoga centre, who are allegedly trying to thwart the inter-religious marriage.
The bench comprising Justice AM Shaffique and Justice P Somarajan ordered that police protection should be granted to the man and the woman. The court also ordered issuance of notice to the parents of the woman. Last month, another bench of the Kerala High Court had held that every case of inter-religious marriage cannot be termed as love jihad or ghar wapasi. In another case, it was held that the court will not interfere with the decision of a major woman to opt for a man belonging to another caste or religion.