The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday reiterated that no one is entitled to disrupt the lives of two adults, who reside together willingly.
Holding thus, the Court came to rescue of another inter-faith couple, facing harassment at the hands of their families.
A Single Bench of Justice Saral Srivastava observed,
"The Court has repeatedly held that where the two individuals having attained the age of majority, are living together, nobody is entitled to interfere in their peaceful life."
In this case, a Hindu woman claimed that she decided to follow Muslim religion and as such, she willingly converted her religion. After conversion, the couple submitted, she solemnized marriage with her Muslim husband.
They further claimed to be adults, living together out of their own freewill. In support, they presented the High School Marks Sheet of the woman and Aadhar Card of the husband, reflecting that they were born in 1998 and 1997, respectively.
In face of these submissions, Justice Srivastava ordered the Superintendent of Police, Bijnor to provide adequate protection to an inter-faith couple, if necessary, and fixed the matter for hearing on February 8. The Court also directed the husband to deposit a sum of Rs. 3 Lakh in favour of her wife.
"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 intercaste or inter- religious marriage," the bench reiterated the observations made by the Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of UP, 2006 CrLJ 3312.
The Court also relied on Bhagwan Dass v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2011) 6 SCC 396, where the Apex Court had made strong observations against honour killings.
"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, uncivilised behavior. All persons who are planning to perpetrate "honour" killings should know that the gallows await them," the Top Court had said.
Recently, a Division Bench of the High Court had 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."
Case Title: Shaista Parveen @ Sangeeta & Anr. v. State of UP & Ors.