Delhi High Court Upholds Unassailable Right to Choose Spouse

LI Network

Published on: October 26, 2023 at 15:21 IST

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has affirmed the immutable right of individuals to marry the person of their choice, even in defiance of familial objections.

The court, while providing protection to a couple who had concerns about their safety due to their marriage against family wishes, emphasized that this right is enshrined in the Constitution of India and cannot be thwarted by family members.

Justice Tushar Rao Gedela, presiding over the case, articulated, “The right of the petitioners to marry a person of their own choice is indelible and protected under the Constitution, which cannot be diluted in any manner whatsoever. Equally, the State is under a constitutional obligation to provide protection to its citizens. There is no doubt about the factum of marriage between the petitioners and the fact that they are major. No one, not even the family members can object to such relation or to the matrimonial ties between the petitioners.”

The case at hand involved a couple who had married against the wishes of their parents and were concerned about threats to their safety. They sought the court’s intervention to secure their protection. Advocate Amit Sharma appeared alongside the petitioners, and ASC (Criminal) Anand V. Khatri represented the respondent-State.

The petition, filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., 1973, sought a writ of mandamus directing the State to ensure the protection of the petitioners, who had married despite their parents’ objections.

The court had previously quashed an FIR against the husband, filed at the insistence of the wife’s family on false grounds.

However, despite the FIR’s quashing, the couple faced continuous threats from the wife’s family, particularly her mother. The State assured the court that they would provide adequate protection to the couple, as the family had submitted a letter pledging not to harm them.

In light of these circumstances, the court issued an order directing the State to ensure the couple’s protection and to ensure that they remain unharmed, particularly from any threats from the wife’s family. The Officer was instructed to visit the couple daily before 9:00 AM and after 6:00 PM for the next two months to guarantee their safety.

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