SC refuses to entertain protection plea for woman in an interfaith union

The petitioner alleged that the woman has been allegedly detained by her parents, and is being forced to marry against her will


A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde refused to entertain a habeas corpus plea seeking protection of a woman in an interfaith relationship with the petitioner. He has alleged that she has been allegedly detained by her parents and is under the threat of forceful marriage, reported LiveLaw.

The plea has been filed by the NGO Dhanak of Humanity, by Advocate P. Sureshan, and settled by Advocate Utkarsh Singh.

The Bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Ramasubramanian asked the petitioner to approach the Allahabad High Court instead, remarking, “What we can’t understand is do you think Allahabad High Court can’t pass directions?”

The counsel reasoned that they did not approach the High Court as it was on a strike at that point, and now if they approach the state court, it will take 10 days to get the case listed, reported LiveLaw.

According to the media, the counsel appearing for the petitioner argued before the Court that a mandatory direction was passed by the top court in its judgement (Shakti Vahini) to make special cells, but no special cells or protection houses have been formed to protect interfaith couples.

But the top court refused to entertain these arguments and asked the petitioner to withdraw and approach the Allahabad High Court. This plea sought directions for compliance with the Supreme court’s 2018 judgement in case of Shakti Vahini, where directions were issued as preventive, remedial and punitive measures for protection of honour killing victims.

The petitioner Rajesh Gupta, as reported by LiveLaw, approached the police in February 2021 and informed them that his partner S. Nisha is under illegal confinement and prayed for her protection. He also asked the Police to produce her before a special cell as mandated by the Supreme Court’s order, but was informed that no such special cell has been instituted.

The top court’s judgment in Shakti Vahini vs Union of India had directed the police to take some steps to build a robust mechanism to meet the challenges of the agonising effect of honour crime. The judgment read, “Additionally, immediate steps should be taken to provide security to the couple/family and, if necessary, to remove them to a safe house within the same district or elsewhere keeping in mind their safety and threat perception. The State Government may consider establishing a safe house at each District Headquarter for that purpose. Such safe houses can cater to accommodate. Young bachelor-bachelorette couples whose relationship is being opposed by their families /local community/Khaps and (ii) young married couples (of an inter-caste or inter-religious or any other marriage being opposed by their families/local community/Khaps). Such safe houses may be placed under the supervision of the jurisdictional District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.”

The present plea, as per LiveLaw, alleges that the State owing to bureaucratic laxity and apathetic attitude have failed to comply with the mandate of directions and have wilfully and intentionally disregarded the Shakti Vahini order.


Punjab & Haryana HC says interfaith marriage invalid as Muslim woman did not convert
Intimacies of marriage private, can’t be affected by matters of faith: SC
Punjab and Haryana HC suggest safe houses for inter-caste couples



Related Articles