Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had said, “Where society is cut asunder, marriage as a binding force becomes a matter of urgent necessity”. Supreme Court of India gave the judgment in the case of Laxmibai Chandaragi B & others vs. The State of Karnataka [Writ Petition (Criminal) 359/ 2020] by dismissing the FIR and supported the above-cited statement. The judgment was presided over by the single bench of Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
In the instant case, An FIR was lodged by the father of petitioner no. 1 because she went missing. In the further investigation, it was found out that the petitioner no.1, apparently without informing her parents, had traveled by flight from Hubli to Bangalore and further from Bangalore to Delhi and thereafter married petitioner no.2. She sent her marriage certificate to her parents through WhatsApp on 15.10.2020 in which she revealed the factum of marriage to petitioner no.2. Later on, Petitioner no.1 talked with the Investigating officer and told him that she was living with petitioner no. 2 (Husband).
But the IO instead insisted that petitioner no.1 appears before the Murgod police station to record a statement so that the case can be closed. Petitioner no.1 sent a letter to the IO stating that she was then married and there was a threat from her parents and thus, was unable to visit the police station.
As a result, the present petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution because the petitioners had contended that there was the duality of jurisdiction arising from them residing with each other. They contended that their uncle was threatening them and thus they had approached the High Court for protection. Petitioner no. 1 told the court that the Investing officer kept on asking her to come to the police station despite of all the threats or otherwise they would come to her and register a case of kidnapping against petitioner no.2 at the behest of her family members.
While observing the above facts, Court contended that the IO could very well have recorded the statement of petitioner no.1 at the place where the petitioners were residing rather than insisting and calling upon the petitioners to come to the local police station at Karnataka; as a result, the SC directed the officer for counseling and deprecated his conduct. The further court stated that both the parties were very well educated and major & had chosen their life partners in turn of the departure from the norms of society for caste and community. The SC added that “This is the way forward where caste and community tensions will reduce by such intermarriage and are quashed with the hope that the parents of petitioner no.1 will have a better sense to accept the marriage and re-establish social interaction not only with petitioner no.1 but even with petitioner no.2. That, in our view, is the only way forward. Under the garb of caste and community to alienate the child and the son-in-law will hardly be a desirable social exercise.”
Hence, SC stated that no further statement was required to be stated and therefore quashed the FIR against the petitioners. Also, directed the police personnel to take training for handling such socially sensitive cases.