An adult has the right to travel anywhere and live with a person of their choice and they cannot be prevented from solemnising a marriage according to their will, the Allahabad High Court said in a judgement on June 7, Live Law reported on Monday.

The bench comprising Justices JJ Munir and Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal passed the order while hearing a plea of a 21-year-old woman challenging a first information report against her husband on charges of abduction.

The first information report was lodged in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district on the basis of a complaint by the woman’s uncle after her wedding. The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested the woman’s husband. The petitioner was also sent back to her uncle’s house even after she expressed apprehension that there was a threat to her life there.

The woman and her husband had married in Telangana on April 17. Their wedding was solemnised by an authoritative certification by the Telangana State Waqf Board on April 25.

The court noted that the woman and her husband are adults and have a right to live together or solemnise marriage according to their wish. This is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, which ensures the right to life and personal liberty.

The bench also said that the woman’s uncle had no right to lodge the complaint, and therefore, all proceedings in the matter were illegal. The High Court quashed the first information report against the woman’s husband.

“This matter has a slightly serious angle to it, because petitioner no.1 [the woman] in her statement under Section 164 CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure], has expressed an apprehension that she would be done to death,” the order said. “Honour killing in such matters is not an unknown phenomenon and it is very important to save a human life from extinction on account of misguided emotions or notions of morality.”

The judgement added: “This issue is quite independent of the issue of matrimony that the parties have entered into. No citizen can kill another for holding a different opinion and it is the foremost duty of the state to preserve human life.”

The bench said that after the woman had told the magistrate that she feared for her life in the custody of her uncle, the legal officer should have booked the man instead, Live Law reported. The bench said that the magistrate should have ensured the safety of the woman.

Also read: An Allahabad HC judge is using morality norms to deny protection to live-in couples