Allahabad High Court Protects Adult’s Right to Marriage and Safety

The Allahabad High Court has strongly asserted the constitutional right of adults to solemnize their marriages and reside with whoever they desire, according to a Live Law report. This pivotal observation emerged during the hearing of a case challenging a magistrate’s order compelling the petitioner (a woman) to live with her uncle after he had objected to her marriage. The High Court bench, comprising Justices JJ Munir and Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal, firmly stated that no individual can prevent an adult from traveling anywhere they wish, living with the person of their choice, or marrying as per their will or desire, as this right is enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The bench also expressed its disapproval of the Judicial Magistrate’s order, as reported by Live Law. It brought attention to the fact that the adult woman had expressed apprehension of being killed if forced to return to her parents’ or uncle’s home in her police statement, the report further added. Despite this, the magistrate ordered the 21-year-old to be sent to her uncle’s home in response to his FIR against her husband. The woman had recorded her statement before the Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The bench highlighted the prevalence of honor killings in such situations and emphasized the paramount importance of protecting human life from being extinguished due to misguided emotions or societal norms. They asserted that no citizen should be subjected to violence for holding a different view, and that it is the foremost duty of the state to safeguard human life. The Court also noted that after the woman alleged threats to her life from her uncle, the magistrate had a responsibility to register an FIR against him and take adequate measures to ensure her safety. The Court held the Siddharth Nagar Superintendent of Police and the Siddharth Nagar District Station House Officer equally responsible for their inaction and failure to register an FIR against the woman’s uncle to ensure her well-being. The Court further emphasized that both petitioners were adults, and any grievances raised by the uncle should not have led to criminal proceedings. It quashed the FIR, dismissing it as unsubstantiated allegations that did not establish a valid case against the accused. Furthermore, the concerned authorities have been directed to guarantee the woman’s safety from harm by her uncle or any other family member. The woman had stated in her police statement that she had married the man of her choice in April 2024 under Muslim rites and produced a marriage certificate from the Telangana State Waqf Board, as per the Live Law report. However, the woman’s uncle objected to the marriage and filed an FIR against her husband under section 363 of the Indian Penal Code. Based on this FIR, the police arrested the husband and handed over the woman to her family. When presented before the magistrate, the woman recorded her statement and expressed her fear of being killed by her uncle, reiterating that she had married willingly. The magistrate, however, ordered her to return to her uncle’s home, prompting the petitioners to approach the High Court.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top