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"She Has A Choice To Live Life On Own Terms": Allahabad High Court Reunites An Interfaith Couple

Sparsh Upadhyay
27 Dec 2020 7:49 AM GMT
She Has A Choice To Live Life On Own Terms: Allahabad High Court Reunites An Interfaith Couple
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She has a choice to live life on her terms and is free to move as per own choice without any restriction: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court recently reunited an interfaith couple while noting that the Woman (Shikha) had "expressed that she wants to live with her husband (Salman @ Karan) she is free to move as per her own choice without any restriction or hindrance being created by third party." The Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by...

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The Allahabad High Court recently reunited an interfaith couple while noting that the Woman (Shikha) had "expressed that she wants to live with her husband (Salman @ Karan) she is free to move as per her own choice without any restriction or hindrance being created by third party."

The Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by the man (Salman @ Karan), who submitted before the Court that his wife (Shikha) had been sent to her parents by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), against her wishes.

The matter before the Court

The C.J.M. Etah vide order dated 07.12.2020 had handed over the corpus in the custody of C.W.C. (Child Welfare Committee), Etah, which on 08.12.2020, handed over the custody to her parents "without any application of mind and against her wish."

Pursuant to Court's order, the corpus was presented before the Court. The Court perused the case diary and observed that the certificate issued by Head Master, Higher Primary Education, Etah, her date of birth was mentioned as 04.10.1999.

Therefore, the Court said that the requirement of Section 94 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 in regard to presumption and determination of age was fulfilled.

"The act of C.J.M., Etah and that of the C.W.C., Etah reflects lack of appreciation of legal provisions", said the HC.

Court interacted with the Corpus

The Court interacted with the corpus, who submitted that she is a major, her date of birth is 04.10.1999, she has attained the age of majority and has entered into wedlock.

She also submitted that she wants to live with her husband namely Salman @ Karan who was also present in the Court.

Importantly, the Court said,

"As the corpus has attained the age of majority and she has a choice to live her life on her own terms and she has expressed that she wants to live with her husband Salman @ Karan she is free to move as per her own choice without any restriction or hindrance being created by third party."

The petition was allowed. The FIR dated 27.09.2020 registered as F.I.R. No. 0371 of 2020, under Sections 366 I.P.C. was thereby quashed.

The I.O. has been directed to ensure that appropriate protection be granted to the corpus and her husband till they return to their residence. The S.S.P, Prayagraj has been directed to provide necessary police security for safe passage of the couple.

In related news, the Calcutta High on Monday (21st December) made it clear that if an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there could be no interference in the matter.

In the celebrated Judgment of Shakti Vahini v. UOI & others, the Supreme Court of India in the year 2018 held that "when two adults marry out of their volition, they choose their path; they consummate their relationship; they feel that it is their goal and they have the right to do so."

"Any kind of torture or torment or ill-treatment in the name of honour that tantamount to atrophy of choice of an individual relating to love and marriage by any assembly, whatsoever nomenclature it assumes, is illegal and cannot be allowed a moment of existence", the Court further said.

Further, in November 2020, the Karnataka High Court held that the right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India.

A division bench of Justices S Sujata and Sachin Shankar Magadum, while disposing of a habeas corpus petition filed by one Wajeed Khan seeking the release of his lover Ramya from confinement, said:

"It is well settled that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion."

Case title - Smt. Shikha (Corpus) And Another v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others [Habeas Corpus Writ Petition No. - 745 of 2020]

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