The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday granted relief to a couple who had been separated by the wife’s family on account of caste-based differences, although they were provided police protection after marriage.
The bench comprising of Justices Sonia Gokani and N V Anjaria while reuniting the couple in Palanpur court upon the woman’s wish to join her husband, observed that the woman’s family objected the union since the man was from a different caste and that the woman’s mother threatened to commit suicide if her daughter preferred to go with her husband.
The bench stated that “The caste system in the country is making it more and more difficult for young people to decide their own life partner and the rigidity in the minds of adults in the family becomes a serious cause of the division of human relationships. It is also making it extremely difficult for the administration to handle this social and emotional upheaval which eventually turns into a legal battleground.”
In the instant case, after getting their marriage registered in January, the couple were granted protection by the high court on 10th February, wherein the HC ordered the Banaskantha police to provide protection to the couple from the woman’s family members. However, they were separated when they visited a relative’s place in Rajasthan.
Subsequently, the husband lodged an abduction complaint against his in-laws at Gadh police station in Banaskantha, but when he felt that there was no development in the matter, he filed a habeas corpus petition for custody of his wife. The woman was produced before the HC through video conferencing form Palanpur district court.
The court, on a perusal of the couple’s marriage certificate, observed that the couple was lawfully married. Further, taking note of the wife’s submissions, the court directed the Additional District Judge, Palanpur to ensure that the wife reaches her matrimonial home safely with the escort of police. It further ordered protection to the couple shall continue for a period of four months and asked the district superintendent of police to extend it further, if there is a need.