It is the duty of the Court to protect life and liberty of a major girl who, out of her own volition, wants to reside separately from her father: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

No law or religion gives a license to a father to harass or intimidate his major daughter just because she does not accede to wishes of her father to marry a particular person. It is not open to a father or relatives of a girl to take law into their own hands. The aforesaid has been established by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh while adjudicating the case of  Anjum Afshan & Ors v. State Of J&K & Ors. [ OWP No.83/2019 (WP(C) No.203/2019] which was decided upon by the single judge bench comprising Justice Sanjay Dhar on 10th November 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The case of the petitioners, in brief, is that the petitioner No.1 has entered into wedlock with petitioner No.2 out of her free will and volition against the wishes of her father i.e., respondent No.7. According to petitioner, respondent No.7, father of the petitioner No.1, is a person of ill repute who has entered into wedlock four 2 times and has divorced the mother of petitioner No.1. It is further averred that the respondent No.7 wanted to give petitioner No.1 in marriage to an illiterate truck driver and the same was resisted by petitioner No.1 who is stated to have lodged a complaint with Women’s Commission in this regard. The petitioners are stated to have approached this Court by way of several writ petitions which are pending before this Court. It is alleged that private respondents i.e., respondents No.6 to 9, invaded the house of the petitioners and raised a hue and cry over there and in case petitioners are not protected from the said respondents, they apprehend that they will be killed.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “ the writ petition is allowed to the extent that the respondents No.1 to 6 are directed to ensure that the petitioners are not harassed at the behest of respondents No.7 to 9 and it is also directed that they shall be given proper security as and when the official respondents are approached by petitioners in this regard.”

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Judgment reviewed by Aryan Bajaj

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