The Madras High Court, while ordering police protection to a couple, remarked that inter caste marriages are good for the society in rooting out the caste system.
The boy and girl, in this case, belonged to different caste and they married in spite of stern objections from the latter's family. As the threats continued even after the couple started living with the boy's family, they filed complaint before the police.
They approached the Madras High Court alleging inaction on the part of the Police.
Justice N. Anand Venkatesh, who heard the plea, noted that both of them are major and they have every right to decide their life and they cannot be threatened or harassed by the parents or the family members. The judge said:
"In fact many thinkers believe that inter-caste marriage is the only panacea to root out the evil of caste system. These are days where the younger generation is slowly moving out of the ill-effects of caste system and that is the reason for a lot of inter-caste marriages that are happening in the society. These changes must be accepted by the elders and this change is infact good for the society in rooting out the caste system. "
The bench also referred to the Judgment of the Supreme Court in Arumugam Servai v. State of Tamil Nadu in which it was held that stern action must be taken against the persons who involve in violence or cause threat to the persons who undergo an inter-caste marriage. The court said that, the police ought to have taken immediate action on the complaint given by the petitioners seeking for police protection
The court then directed the police to immediately call the parents of the girl and their relatives for an enquiry and instruct them not to interfere with the married life of the petitioner. If inspite of the advice, any threat is exerted, immediate action shall be taken against them and if necessary police protection shall be granted for the couple, the Court added.
In Arumugam Servai, the Supreme Court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra had made the following observations:
"We have in recent years heard of `Khap Panchayats' (known as katta panchayats in Tamil Nadu) which often decree or encourage honour killings or other atrocities in an institutionalized way on boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get married or have been married, or interfere with the personal lives of people. We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out. As already stated in Lata Singh's case (supra), there is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but barbaric and shameful murder. Other atrocities in respect of personal lives of people committed by brutal, feudal minded persons deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we stamp out such acts of barbarism and feudal mentality. Moreover, these acts take the law into their own hands, and amount to kangaroo courts, which are wholly illegal.
…Hence, we direct the administrative and police officials to take strong measures to prevent such atrocious acts. If any such incidents happen, apart from instituting criminal proceedings against those responsible for such atrocities, the State Government is directed to immediately suspend the District Magistrate/Collector and SSP/SPs of the district as well as other officials concerned and chargesheet them and proceed against them departmentally if they do not (1) prevent the incident if it has not already occurred but they have knowledge of it in advance, or (2) if it has occurred, they do not promptly apprehend the culprits and others involved and institute criminal proceedings against them, as in our opinion they will be deemed to be directly or indirectly accountable in this connection. "
Click here to Download Order