The Allahabad High Court has recently stated that a major girl has the right to choose her own partner for marriage without any religious boundaries. “Right to live with a person of his or her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty” which is granted under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
While hearing a joint plea filed by the woman (wife/petitioner No. 1) and Man (accused/husband/petitioner No. 2) the Allahabad High Court quashed an FIR registered against a Muslim man under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly kidnapping and marring a Hindu girl. However, the girl stated that she married the Muslim Man of her own sweet will out of love.
The woman said that she had left her parental home out of her own choice and own sweet will. She married the Muslim man without any pressure or fear. She also said that no one forced her to convert herself into an Islam or to invest her faith in Islamic religion.
The couple asserted that no offence was committed under Section 366 of IPC which deals with kidnapping / abduction of any woman and the entire criminal case that was lodged was nothing but was an abuse of the process of law. Further, they stated that the family members of the Hindu Girl were against her inter – religious marriage with the Muslim man and therefore had filed the current FIR in order to dissolve the marriage of their daughter.
The Bench of Justices Sunita Agarwal and Justice Sadhna Rani (Thakur) referred to the ruling of Allahabad High Court in an earlier case of Salamat Ansari & others v. State of UP & others, wherein the Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal had stated that “right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty.”
They also remarked “We fail to understand that if the law permits two persons even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even the state can have an objection to the relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together.”
The Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the FIR (First Information Report) dated 19.07.2021, which was registered as Case Crime No. 108 of 2021, under Section 366 of Indian Penal Code, P.S. –Tarwa, District Azamgarh and all other consequential proceedings were also quashed by the bench for the Case.