New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave a historic verdict in a “love jihad” case, reuniting a 20-year-old woman with her husband as it said an adult woman is free to live wherever she wants and with whoever she wishes. Also Read - Living in Uttar Pradesh? Now Obtain License to Keep Liquor at Home | Read Govt's Latest Guidelines
A two-judge bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar gave the ruling at a time when Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states are enacting laws against religious conversions that sparked a nationwide debate on the freedom and right of an adult to marry anyone they choose. Also Read - Free Coaching to Uttar Pradesh Students For Many Competitive Exams From Basant Panchami: CM
A petition was filed in the court by the family members of the woman, Sulekha, falsely claimed as a minor, seeking her production before the court as she had gone ‘missing’ on September 12. Also Read - Married 10 times, 52-year-old Man in UP's Bareilly Murdered For Property
The HC, after verifying the evidence, in turn, directed that Sluekha should be permitted to reside with Babloo, her husband, brushing aside her family’s alleged objections that she had been kidnapped.
“The police authorities shall also counsel the petitioner and the parents of Sulekha not to take the law into their hands or threaten either Sulekha or Babloo,” the Delhi HC asserted while hearing the habeas corpus filed by the sister.
A similar plea was quashed by the Allahabad High Court a few days ago that cancelled an FIR filed in Kanpur against a Muslim Man by the parents of his wife who was converted to Islam last year to marry him.
“We do not see Priyanka Kharwar and Salamat Ansari as Hindu and Muslim, rather as two grown-up individuals who – out of their own free will and choice – are living together peacefully and happily over a year. The Courts and the Constitutional Courts, in particular, are enjoined to uphold the life and liberty of an individual guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the two-judge bench had ruled.
Notably, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday cleared an executive order, following the footsteps of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, to check forced religious conversion for the sake of marriage, which BJP leaders refer to as “love jihad”.