Allahabad HC grants protection against harassment to interfaith couple


Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Granting protection against harassment to an interfaith couple from Gorakhpur, Allahabad High Court on Thursday observed that adults had the right to choose their life partners irrespective of the religion professed by them.

The High Court made it clear that even their parents could not object to their relationship.

The court was hearing the petition filed jointly by one Shifa Hasan and her Hindu partner. The division bench, comprising Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Deepak Verma, observed that it was beyond dispute that two adults had the right of choice of their matrimonial partner irrespective of the faith they believed in and the religion they professed.

“As the present petition is a joint petition by the two individuals who claim to be in love with each other and are major, therefore, in our considered opinion, nobody, not even their parents, could object to their relationship”, the court added in the judgment.

In the joint petition, the petitioners’ had contended that they were in love with each other and were living together of their own will. However, their relationship was not being accepted by some of their family members and they were disturbing their peaceful living.

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Moreover, after hearing all sides at length, the court granted protection to the couple, saying that not even their parents had the right to object to their relationship.

The court also directed the Gorakhpur police authorities to ensure that the petitioners were not subjected to any harassment by the father of the girl or by any other person in connection with their relationship with each other.

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner – Hasan submitted before the court that she had also filed an application for conversion from Muslim to Hindu religion. As per her statement in the court, the district magistrate (DM) of Gorakhpur had called for a report from the police station concerned on the said application. As per the report submitted by the police authorities concerned, while the boy’s father was not agreeable to the marriage, his mother was ready for the same.

However, petitioner Shifa Hasan’s parents were opposed to the marriage. Consequently, in view of the same, the couple approached the High Court claiming a threat to their life.

The Court took note of the fact that both the petitioners were major, aged 19 and 24 years, respectively. Hence, the court proceeded to grant them protection, while clarifying that the order was not any final opinion regarding the age of the petitioners as the findings were only prima facie in nature for the purposes of deciding the issue regarding protection of the life of the petitioners.

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