No one can interfere when two consenting adults decide to get married: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Monday said that no one had a right to interfere when two consenting adults decided to get married.

Supreme Court

“Where two consenting adults agree to enter into matrimony, no individual rights, group rights or collective rights shall interfere therein or harass the couple,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar was quoted by Live Law website.

The top court was hearing a petition by NGO Shakti Vahini against the prevalent honour killings in parts of India, particularly Haryana. The NGO had also demanded a ban on khap panchayats that have become notorious for their diktats akin to those prevalent in medieval ages.

The lawyer representing khaps told the top court that they were against honour killings. To which, the bench said, “We are not concerned with the Khap Panchayats. Nobody, neither the society, the parents or other relatives of either party to the marriage nor the Panchayats, may interfere.”

The Supreme Court’s warning came just few days after a 23-year-old man, Ankit Saxena, was brutally killed by the family of Muslim girl he was dating in west Delhi. The court, however, declined to entertain any arguments when a reference was made to Saxena’s murder on the grounds that the matter had not yet been brought before them yet.

Today’s development in the Supreme Court also assumes significance in light of Kerala’s Hadiya, who had married a Msulim man, Shafin Jahan. The High Court had later annulled their marriage prompting the husband to approach the Supreme Court, where Hadiya had deposed in person to confirm that she had chosen to marry Shafin without any coercion.

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