The Delhi High Court has recently in the case Hina & Anr. V. The State & Ors observed that once two adults’ consent to live together as husband and wife there can be perceivably no interference in their lives from third parties, including their family.
The bench comprising of Justice Tushar Rao Gedela observed and further added that the State is under a Constitutional obligation to protect its citizens especially in cases where the marriage is solemnized between two consenting adults, irrespective of the community or caste.
The court observed and stated that the Constitutional Courts under our framework are empowered to pass orders to protect the citizens specially in the cases of the nature to which the present dispute pertains. Once two adults’ consent to live together as husband and wife there can be perceivably no interference in their lives from third parties, including their family and the same is ensured by our constitution. However, it is not only the duty of the State but also its machinery and the agencies which ensure law and order to ensure that no harm comes to the citizens of this country. A petition was filled before the court by a couple who had married each other last month in accordance with Special Marriage Act.
On behalf of the women, it was submitted that she had left her home as her parents and other family members were torturing and harassing her on account of her relationship with her lover and now husband.
A complaint was filled by her in Delhi as well as Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh against the private respondents, therefore, no action was taken against it.
Further, it was submitted on behalf of the couple that the father of woman was politically a well-connected person in Uttar Pradesh and was capable of influencing the State machinery to their detriment.
Before the court, it was submitted that from the side of the family members of the women, there was an apprehension of physical harm. Moreover, it was also the couple’s case that they were major and had consented for marriage mutually.
The counsel appearing for the couple submitted that the couple, post marriage, they were living in various hotels and changing them frequently due to fear and that unless they were protected and they will not be able to reside at a particular identified place.
In the present case, the Court stated that there is no dispute that the petitioners no.1 and 2 are major and the marriage certificate placed on record prima-facie also lends credence to their submission. It was directed by the Court to the police officials to immediately respond in case of any call received from the couple regarding any incident of emergency or threat.
The Court ordered that the beat officer(s) of the concerned area shall visit the residence once in two days only for the next three weeks to ensure the safety of the petitioners. The court dismissed the petition.