Gujarat High Court has ordered police protection for an inter-faith couple after a habeas corpus petition was filed by the man stating that the corpus (woman) was being illegally confined by her parents. The Division bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Sangeeta Vishen even asked the PSI of Karanj Police station to subit a report on why the corpus was called to the police station after sunset and let go in the middle of the night, at 3 am.
The corpus who was at Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) training centre, Junagadh was not allowed to use her cell phone. She also submitted before the court that she was called at the Karanj Police Station at 08:00 p.m. with the petitioner and was allowed to leave at about 03:00 a.m.
She told the court that was keen to marry the petitioner and due to resistance from her family and community, she was unable to do so. She requested the court to permit her to travel to Ahmedabad from her training centre in Junagadh since it was the last date of registering their marriage under Special Marriage Act, after having given notice as required under the Act.
As per section 5 of the Act, the parties to the marriage are required to issue notice to the marriage officer of such intended marriage, at least 30 days in advance and this notice expires within 3 months, if marriage is not solemnized within that time and under section 14 of the Act, a new notice is required to be issued.
The court directed that:
·A lady PSI shall accompany the corpus to Ahmedabad along with an employee of the District Legal Services Authority
·Her leave be sanctioned for this purpose by the training centre. Principal District and Sessions Judge, Junagadh to ensure execution of said arrangements
·The report of the sub-Registrar of registration of marriage and affidavit of Mr. Tadvi, PSI, Karanj Police Station, shall be tendered before this Court, EXPLAINING, as to why the corpus was called at the police station after sunset for recording her statement, on the next date.
·Public prosecutor Jhaveri to ascertain the reason of precluding the corpus to have any communication through cell phone, while undergoing training at the Training Centre, while she is permitted to do so in post-training hours
·Public prosecutor to ensure that the DCP, Zone-2, shall necessary protection to the couple, during the entire process of registration of marriage and thereafter.
The same division bench had, last month, offered relief to an interfaith couple who were detained by the police after having solemnised their marriage against the wishes of the woman’s family. The bench, while observing that undue fervour was shown by the police as it was a case of inter-faith marriage, had also 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”. The couple was also provided police protection for 4 weeks which could be extended if deemed necessary.
The complete order may be read here.