By Ms. S.P.SOWNDARYA & Mr. B.GIRIDHARAN
Justice AshokBhan & Justice MarkandeyKatju
DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
7th July, 2006.
(2006) 5 SCC 475
STATE OF U.P. & Anr
Although numerous laws have been passed in India to create equality, the caste system still has huge impact on the society. Indians still identify themselves as a community to which they belong and caste is still a factor in the selection of marriage. Community-based marriage systems remain prevalent despite rapid urbanisation and the proliferation of smaller families. They are surprisingly more prevalent among rich urban Indians than the rest of the country. Fundamental right acts as the keystone of the Indian Constitution. No person should be deprived of their fundamental right. This case is about the inter-caste marriage performed by a couple in Uttar Pradesh. It comes up as the ideal foundation for the right against honour killings in India. It provides vigorous support to women’s right to choose to marry any person of their will under Article-21 of the Indian Constitution. The Apex court provides police protection to the couples performing inter-caste marriage in order to protect them from threats of violence by their family members.
STATEMENT OF FACTS:
1. The petitioner, Lata Singh, a major in age, graduated in Lucknow University was living with her brother Ajay Pratap Singh because of the sudden demise of her parents. On 02.11.2000she left her brother’s house and got married to Bramha Nand Gupta on her own will.Out of this wedlock they had a child.
2. Thereafter the petitioner’s brother lodged a missing person report and as a result the police arrested two sisters of petitioner’s husband along with the husband of one of the sisters and also his cousin.
3. The petitioner underwent inter-caste marriage, so her brothers were furious. They went to her residence and harassed and bashed at her husband’s mother and uncle, destroyed their crops and took forcible possession of her husband’s shop. They also lodged false report regarding the kidnapping of the petitioner against her husband and in-laws and also stated that she was mentally unfit.
4. The petitioner alleged the false framing of her husband and his relatives and reported the matter to the National Human Rights Commission through the Rajasthan Women Commission, Jaipur. Bail was granted to all the accused since no legal ground could be charged against them.
5. Her brothers filed a petition under section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code against her husband and in-laws. She got frightened about her husband and child’s life. So, she prayed before the Apex court to issue the writ of mandamus to quash the charges against her in-laws before the trial court.
1. Whether the writ of certiorari and or mandamus for quashing of a trial could be issued in favour of petitioner or not?
ARGUMENTS OF PETITIONER:
1. The petitioner contended that she married her husband on her own will thereby leaving her brother’s house. She argued that her brothers harassed and destroyed the crops of her husband and in-laws.
2. She alleged that they have filed a false report of kidnapping her against her husband. The petitioner stated that she ran from pillar to post to save her husband and relatives from harassment. She approached the Rajasthan State Women Commission and also requested the National Human Rights Commission and the chief secretary to intervene in the matter.
3. The petitioner contended that she cannot live with her family in Lucknow as she was afraid about losing her husband and child’s life. False missing report was also filed by her brothers and it was also stated by them that she was mentally unstable.
ARGUMENTS OF RESPONDENT:
1. The respondent alleged that they were furious as she underwent inter-caste marriage so they lodged missing person report and police arrested her husband and his relatives. He also contended that all the necessary inquiries were taken.
2. Bail was granted to all the accused and the Judicial Magistrate recorded the statement of the petitioner that she is mentally stable. He stated that the fast track court issued non-bailable warrant against all the four accused.
The Supreme Court stated that the petitioner was major at all relevant times. Hence, there is no bar for inter-caste marriage under Hindu marriage Act or any other law. It was held that proceedings against the petitioner’s husband and relatives were completely quashed by the Supreme Court. It also stated that no offence was committed by the accused persons and it was mere the abuse and breach of the process of court as well as of the administrative machinery which created problems for the petitioner as well as for her family. In these circumstances, the writ petition is allowed. Court directed that all the law proceedings against the petitioner brothers and all others involved should be instituted by the concerned authorities. Supreme Court stated that whoever engages in these kinds of violence and honour killings should be strictly punished.
RULE OF LAW:
This judgement made it clear that once a person becomes major, he/she can marry any person whosoever he wants.So, every person on the country has a right to marry anyone according to Article-21 of Indian Constitution. The right to marry is a universal right and it is available to everyone irrespective of their gender.
India is a free and democratic country where every person has a right to choose to marry a person on their own will. Though the situation is changing, inter-caste marriage is still a taboo in our country. Not just the couples, their entire families are boycotted from their communities and also have to face the social torments. They may also undergo emotional torture by the members of their families. Thus, the criminal justice administration must take measures to create awareness and enact effective legislations to protect the persons performing inter-caste marriage. This indicates that inter-caste marriages in India are still being contested and strongly stigmatized even in the 21st century.Hence, it is suggested that if you disapprove inter-caste marriage just cut-off social relations with them. Don’t inflict any threat or violence against them.
2. Article – 21 of the Constitution of India -Protection of life and personal liberty – No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
3. Section – 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Saving of inherent powers of High court- Nothing in this code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.