The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday clarified that the fact of the petitioner (Girl) having converted to Islam would not be a relevant factor while ensuring that there is no interference in the liberty of the petitioners while dealing with the plea of an inter-religious couple who alleged that private respondent/s is interfering with their marital life and liberty.
A Single Bench of Justice Salil Kumar Rai passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Yashi Devi and another.
In this petition, the petition has been filed by the petitioners for a direction upon the respondents not to interfere with their marital life and liberty. It is claimed that petitioners are major and have solemnized marriage out of their own free will. It is alleged that private respondent/s is interfering with their marital life and liberty.
It has been asserted in the petition that the petitioner no.1 – Yashi Devi is aged about 20 years and Guchhan Khan- petitioner no. 2 is aged about 40 years and both entered into marriage on January 11, 2021 after petitioner no.1 converted to Islam.
“In view of the clear enunciation of law by the apex court in the above matter, it is obligatory for the concerned authorities to ensure compliance of the above directions in view of Article 141 of the Constitution of India”, the Court said.
Referring to the apex court’s ruling in the case of Lata Singh, the court observed that law is settled that it is the right of couples to live peacefully without any interference in case they are major.
The Court stated that, in case the petitioner face any genuine threat to their life and liberty, or they are harassed, contrary to law laid down in Lata Singh (supra), it shall be open for them to approach the Senior Superintendent of Police of the concerned district and furnish necessary details in that regard, like proof of their majority, marriage and alleged harassment etc., who shall take all steps as may be required in law to ensure that Petitioner’s life and liberty are not interfered with, keeping in view the directions issued in Lata Singh.
The court further said that the filing of the petition or the order of its disposal, however, would not be treated as proof of marriage between the petitioners. It is also clarified that petitioners, if major, are entitled to live together even if not married and therefore, proof of their marriage would not be required and shall not be insisted upon by the concerned Police Officer.
It is further clarified that the fact of the petitioner having converted to Islam would not be a relevant factor while ensuring that there is no interference in the liberty of the petitioners unless there is any allegation by petitioner no.1 regarding forcible conversion.
“Since the Petition is being decided at the stage of fresh motion itself and notice has not been issued to private respondent/s, as such, liberty is given to them to file a recall, in case any of the averments made in the writ petition are found to be incorrect, and this order shall stand automatically vacated, in case any First Information Report has been lodged in the matter”, the court ordered.