Above: A representational picture of a Hindu marriage
An extraordinary case has come up before the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. Details of it were first related to the bench and the first hearing took place on Monday (October 9).
The case, basically, is about whether a Panchayat can be discriminating about a couple which married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. It also challenges a high court verdict. It is about a Parsi (Zoroastrian) lady who married a Hindu. When her father died, she wanted to attend the funeral but the pahchayat refused to let her, so did her family.
When the lady, Goolrokh M Gupta, approached the Gujarat High Court, the court said that when she has married a Hindu through the Special Marriage Act, she automatically converted to the religion of her husband. Hence she is not entitled to go to her house for any ritual.
Goolrokh has moved the Supreme Court against this judgment.
The counsel for the respondent submitted that the high court did not deny her permission to go and attend the funeral. There were too many conflicting facts and that when the lady took the saat phera she accepted Hinduism.
At this counsel for the petitioner drew the attention of the bench to the paragraph of the high court judgment which says: “When a girl marries a man, she automatically accepts his religion. It means she doesn’t have any personal rights in law.”
Matter is listed tomorrow before a five-judge constitutional bench.
—India Legal Bureau