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Karnataka High Court: Right to marry anyone irrespective of caste or religion a fundamental right

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The Karnataka High Court observed that the right of an individual to marry any person of his/her choice irrespective of caste or religion is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India. The court said this while ordering the release of a woman in a Habeas Corpus Petition filed by her lover Wajeed Khan.

Ramya G. is staying at the Mahila Dakshatha Samithi, Vidyaranyapura following her complaint to the Janodaya Santwana Kendra alleging infringement of her right to liberty caused by her parents relating to her marriage with the petitioner.

A division bench of Justices S Sujata and Sachin Shankar Magadum disposed of the Habeas Corpus Petition filed by Wajeed Khan seeking the release of his lover Ramya from confinement.

The woman stated that she has decided to marry the petitioner who is a colleague of hers, working at IQVIA as a software engineer. The mother of the petitioner, Sreelakshmi, has no objections to the marriage of her son Wajeed Khan with her. However, her parents are not giving consent to the said marriage.

“It is well settled that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion.”

Ramya stated that she is a software engineer and is capable of taking a decision regarding her life. The Court directed the Mahila Dakshata Samithi directed to release her forthwith.

The bench said, “The scope of habeas corpus being limited to produce the person and she being produced before the Court, recording her submission as aforesaid, we dispose of the writ petition setting her at liberty.”

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The division bench said that the single bench decisions failed to deal with the “the issue of life and liberty of two matured individuals in choosing a partner or their right to freedom of choice as to with whom they would like to live”.

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