Love and marriage

Woman calls off interfaith marriage after Madhya Pradesh government lawyer ‘counsels’ her: Report

The lawyer allegedly told her the marriage could create a law and order problem in her town.

A lawyer for the Madhya Pradesh government claims to have “counselled” a 27-year-old Hindu woman “for a long time” last month to convince her to call off her marriage with a Muslim man, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The state’s High Court sent the woman to her parents after their lawyers and the government advocate talked to her in a judge’s chamber.

The couple had eloped and married in September 2017. In court, the woman repeatedly said she wanted to be with the man. However, lawyers for the woman’s parents and the government argued that she was “confused” and should be heard in the judge’s chamber, where only she and the lawyers would be allowed. She changed her mind after the meeting.

This came just days before the Supreme Court restored the marriage of Hadiya, who converted to Islam to marry Shafin Jahan last year. Setting aside a May 2017 order of the Kerala High Court that had annulled the union, the Supreme Court said “marriage and intimacy of personal relationships” were at the “core of plurality in India”, and the state could not interfere in it.

‘You won’t be able to even see the sun’

Neelam Mehroliya expressed her wish to be with 24-year-old Sameer Khan “thrice”, government lawyer Archana Kher told The Indian Express. But the lawyers in the chamber told her the marriage could create a “law and order issue” in Mhow, where she lives. On Khan’s suggestion the couple could move to Delhi, the lawyers said she would have to spend her life in hiding and would not “be able to even see the sun”.

Mehroliya probably changed her mind because she realised the marriage would “create problems for both families”, Kher, who represents the home department, said. Sameer Khan is now looking at legal options to get his wife back.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has supported the woman’s parents and called it a case of “love jihad”. “We want to ensure that the alliance is broken,” local leader Prakash Khandelwal was quoted as saying.

‘Illegal detention’

Mehroliya was produced in the court on February 26, a month after Khan moved a habeas corpus petition in the High Court’s Indore bench, alleging his wife was being illegaly detained by her parents. Her parents had allegedly blocked communication between the two after she came home to try to convince them about the marriage. She had come to her family two days after their marriage in September 2017, after the family filed a missing persons complaint.

“We rejected marriage proposals for her even from Hindu families because the [caste] did not match our specification,” the woman’s father Laxman told The Indian Express. “How can we even think of marrying her to a Muslim, that too an uneducated person without a steady income?”

Khan has studied up to Class 10, claims to be a designer at a boutique and earns around Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 a month. Mehroliya is a post-graduate in commerce, but Khan says this was never a concern for her. Khan’s family supports the marriage.

Her family claims Khan met her through Facebook by faking his identity, but Khan says they met through a mutual friend in 2015. The family also said the marriage documents Khan submitted in court were forged. The court did not contest the documents, however, and said Khan could take further legal action if he wanted.

“We convinced her that the marriage wouldn’t do any good for her,” Kher said. “We told her to stand on her own feet, find a job and wait a year or two. And that if the boy waited for her, she would know [whether he loved her].”

Judge JK Maheshwari dismissed Khan’s claim that Mehroliya was in illegal detention. He asked her parents to maintain “a good atmosphere at that the girl may adjust herself...and may live happily”.

The woman’s family now plans to get her married soon. Meanwhile, Khan alleged he had got death threats from unknown phone numbers.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.