Consent to be given primacy when two individuals enter into wedlock: Supreme Court of India

An FIR filed by the parents of the petitioners were quashed by the Supreme Court of India citing that that the consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock and that their consent has to be piously given primacy. This was held in the case of Laxmibhai Chandaraghi & Anr. v. State of Karnataka & ors, [Writ Petition [Criminal] No.359/2020] by Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul in the Supreme Court of India.

The petitioner in this case got married without informing her parents. She sent her marriage certificate to her parents through whatsapp in which she revealed the factum of marriage. Both the petitioner and her husband were well educated.  A petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India since according to the petitioner who lived in Karnataka, there is an issue of duality of jurisdiction arising from her residing with her husband who is from Uttar Pradesh. They were receiving threats from the petitioner’s family. The Police authorities weren’t of much help regarding the threats as the parties were asked to appear physically before the Police station to register their complaint even after expressing their apprehension of fear.

The Court observed that the choice of an individual is an inextricable part of dignity, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice. Such a right or choice is not is not expected to succumb to the concept of “class honour” or “group thinking”. Reliance was placed on Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K M & Ors, (2018) 16 SCC 408 where the Court noticed that the society was emerging through a crucial transformational period.4 Intimacies of marriage lie within a core zone of privacy, which is inviolable and even matters of faith would have the least effect on them. The right to marry a person of choice was held to be integral Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Under the garb of caste and community to alienate the child and the son-in-law will hardly be a desirable social exercise. The judgment of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, 5 (2017) 10 SCC 1 was referred where it was held that the autonomy of an individual inter alia in relation to family and marriage were held to be integral to the dignity of the individual.

The FIR filed by the parents of the petitioner was quashed with the hope that the parents of petitioner will have a better sense to accept the marriage and re-establish social interaction not only with the petitioner but also her husband.

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