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Gujarat HC slams police for detaining interfaith couple

The court has ordered the immediate release of the arrested couple

Sabrangindia 21 Jan 2021

interfaith marriage

A Division Bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Sangeeta K. Vishen of the Gujarat High Court offered relief to an interfaith couple who solemnised their marriage against the wishes of the woman’s father and were subsequently detained by the Police.

The court noted that the facts of the case were “quite glaring and also shocking” and quashed the remand order passed by the Magistrate. The court also directed the immediate release of the woman on her executing personal bond for a sum of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) before the Court and also gave her the liberty to take all legal recourse, including the preferring of a quashing of petition. The Division Bench issued a similar direction for her husband.

The court further directed the Range IG of the jurisdiction concerned “to inquire into the matter, more particularly, considering the conduct of respondent Nos. 5 and 6 (police inspectors of Palanpur East and West police stations), in whose custody, the couple has been detained for all these days, and report to the DIG”.

While giving directions to the Range Inspector General, the court urged the IG to bear in mind that this is a case, where, the “undue fervour is shown”, on account of this being an inter-religion marriage and to also acknowledge the various judgments of Lata Singh and Shakti Vahini where the Supreme Court has upheld the right of inter caste/ religion couples against honour killing.

The Bench also recorded the public prosecutor’s assurance that the couple, who now want to reside in Surat, shall be granted police protection “initially for a period of four weeks” by the Surat city police commissioner, whereafter the police commissioner shall decide whether the same requires to be continued or not.

As reported by the Indian Express, the Gujarat Police went by flight to Kerala to take the couple into their custody and then travelled back by road to Palanpur where the husband-wife were detained at two separate police stations. Both were named as accused in the FIR. The woman was also allegedly pressured to not continue with the relationship but she remained adamant.

Lawyer NK Majumdar who appeared for the petitioner (the accused husband’s brother) contended that how could the accused man be taken into custody before the registration of the FIR. “As per the prosecution’s case, they were taken into custody in Kerala on January 12 and brought to Palanpur and arrested on January 15. But as per the petitioner, they were brought to Palanpur on January 12 and continued to be in illegal detention until January 15, when the FIR came to be registered,” reported the Indian Express.

The High Court, then, ordered for the two to be produced before it and spoke to them confidentiality, first separately and then together. Majumdar had also stated that on January 4, the woman had written to the police authorities that she was married and was leaving home of her own volition.  

The orders may be read here: 

 

 

Related:

An adult woman free to move “as per her own wish”: Bombay High Court

Allahabad HC reunites interfaith couple, provides police protection

Cannot intervene if adult marries as per choice and converts: Cal HC

Notice publication of marriage under Special Marriage Act violates privacy: Allahabad HC

Gujarat HC slams police for detaining interfaith couple

The court has ordered the immediate release of the arrested couple

interfaith marriage

A Division Bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Sangeeta K. Vishen of the Gujarat High Court offered relief to an interfaith couple who solemnised their marriage against the wishes of the woman’s father and were subsequently detained by the Police.

The court noted that the facts of the case were “quite glaring and also shocking” and quashed the remand order passed by the Magistrate. The court also directed the immediate release of the woman on her executing personal bond for a sum of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) before the Court and also gave her the liberty to take all legal recourse, including the preferring of a quashing of petition. The Division Bench issued a similar direction for her husband.

The court further directed the Range IG of the jurisdiction concerned “to inquire into the matter, more particularly, considering the conduct of respondent Nos. 5 and 6 (police inspectors of Palanpur East and West police stations), in whose custody, the couple has been detained for all these days, and report to the DIG”.

While giving directions to the Range Inspector General, the court urged the IG to bear in mind that this is a case, where, the “undue fervour is shown”, on account of this being an inter-religion marriage and to also acknowledge the various judgments of Lata Singh and Shakti Vahini where the Supreme Court has upheld the right of inter caste/ religion couples against honour killing.

The Bench also recorded the public prosecutor’s assurance that the couple, who now want to reside in Surat, shall be granted police protection “initially for a period of four weeks” by the Surat city police commissioner, whereafter the police commissioner shall decide whether the same requires to be continued or not.

As reported by the Indian Express, the Gujarat Police went by flight to Kerala to take the couple into their custody and then travelled back by road to Palanpur where the husband-wife were detained at two separate police stations. Both were named as accused in the FIR. The woman was also allegedly pressured to not continue with the relationship but she remained adamant.

Lawyer NK Majumdar who appeared for the petitioner (the accused husband’s brother) contended that how could the accused man be taken into custody before the registration of the FIR. “As per the prosecution’s case, they were taken into custody in Kerala on January 12 and brought to Palanpur and arrested on January 15. But as per the petitioner, they were brought to Palanpur on January 12 and continued to be in illegal detention until January 15, when the FIR came to be registered,” reported the Indian Express.

The High Court, then, ordered for the two to be produced before it and spoke to them confidentiality, first separately and then together. Majumdar had also stated that on January 4, the woman had written to the police authorities that she was married and was leaving home of her own volition.  

The orders may be read here: 

 

 

Related:

An adult woman free to move “as per her own wish”: Bombay High Court

Allahabad HC reunites interfaith couple, provides police protection

Cannot intervene if adult marries as per choice and converts: Cal HC

Notice publication of marriage under Special Marriage Act violates privacy: Allahabad HC

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