The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Bengaluru Police to provide security to a woman who has accused her family of marrying her off without her consent and says that she now fears for her life, PTI reported.
The 26-year-old is the daughter of a politician in Karnataka. and wants to stay in Bengaluru to pursue a postgraduate course in engineering. She had fled home a few days after her wedding on March 14 and moved court seeking an annulment of her marriage and police protection so that she could pursue a postgraduate course in engineering in Bengaluru. She claimed that her brother had threatened to rape her, and that she feared for her life as her father is an influential politician, The Times of India reported.
The court, however, reiterated its decision made in April that it would not annul the marriage, and told her to approach a family court.
“You are a major,” the bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. “You are independent to go wherever you want to go.”
The court added that nobody, including her family members and her husband, could force her.
On April 11, the court had asked the Delhi Police to provide protection to the woman while she was in the city to pursue the case. After she said on Monday she would go back to Karnataka, the court discharged the Delhi Police of the responsibility.
The woman’s lawyer, Indira Jaising, had earlier argued that the Hindu Marriage Act does not say anything about consent and had urged the court to make consent mandatory under the law. But the court said it had already made it clear that it would not deal with the constitutionality of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act and the validity of the “forced marriage”.