The Supreme Court on 9 March, granted protection to an inter-caste couple from getting arrested and ordered the police in the national Capital and two other states to provide them security in light of the threat to their lives from family members. The court also directed the officials to provide adequate security to the couple in case of any requirement.
The bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Surya Kanta while observing that the couple faces a serious threat to their lives from their family thus directed the Delhi police commissioner, the director-general of police in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to not take any coercive action against the petitioners.
As per sources, the woman is a doctor belonging to the Yadav community, while her husband is an engineer, belonging to the Jain community. They got married on 28 February as per Hindu rites and rituals. However, soon after their wedding, the couple claimed to have received threats to their lives and stated that they feared the possibility of coercive action from the Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh police.
Subsequently, the couple then moved to Supreme Court, arguing that the right to consensually choose each other as life partners was a manifestation of their choice as recognized under Article 19 and Article 21 of the Constitution.
The petitioner couple, who are currently residing in New Delhi further sought directions from the apex court for protection from the Delhi Police as well, with regards to the threats, especially from the woman’s family members.
“That in matter of marriage a couple, who are legally major have all the right to marry and the consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary, once the two adult individuals agree to enter into the wedlock” stated the plea, filed by the petitioners through Advocate Mannan Mishra.
Further observing that the woman had filed a complaint earlier as well with the Jaipur police seeking protection from her family, the top court stated that the couple ‘should not be arrested’, and also directed that they should be given police protection ‘if required.’