Questions of faith have no bearing on freedom to choose spouse, says Delhi High Court
The court was hearing bail pleas of three women who urged other members of their family to attack a man over a marriage that they did not approve of.
The Delhi High Court said that questions of faith have no bearing on one’s freedom to choose a spouse since it is guaranteed under the fundamental rights in the Constitution, reported Live Law on Monday.
Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta passed the order on October 13 while hearing three bail applications of family members of a woman who had married a man against their wishes. The petitions were filed by the woman’s sister, mother, and grandmother, who had allegedly encouraged a brutal attack against the man on December 22.
The couple got married on December 21. However, when the woman’s family came to know of the marriage, they threatened to kill her husband, the police said.
On December 22, the husband submitted an application to the Rajouri Garden police station in Delhi for protection. However, when he and his wife were returning from the police station, they were abducted by the woman’s family members, according to the prosecution.
The police alleged that the woman’s grandmother, sister and mother exhorted other members of the family to chop off the husband’s genitals. Subsequently, the woman’s uncle allegedly chopped off his genitals with an axe.
The man was then allegedly thrown into a drain, and was later rescued by his brother.
The High Court denied bail to the woman’s mother and grandmother, but granted bail to her sister. Justice Mendiratta said that no active role was attributed to the sister by the prosecution.
The judge said that on the other hand, the woman’s mother and grandmother had allegedly participated in the assault and also exhorted other family members to cut the husband’s genitals.
“Considering the grave nature of offence, ghastly manner in which the assault was made and considering their role in the incident, no grounds for bail are made out,” the High Court said.
Mendiratta also said that it was unfortunate that the police failed to provide protection to the couple, reported Live Law.
“Wherever the life and liberty of any individual is concerned, especially in cases of couples legally marrying out of their own freewill and volition, the police is expected to act expeditiously and with sensitivity in accordance with law and take necessary measures for protection and safety of applicants concerned, if they apprehend hostility and concerns for their safety from different quarters including their own family members,” the court said.