The right to marry is an incident of human liberty and an integral facet of the constitutionally guaranteed right to life, and there can hardly be any impediment from parents, society or the State when two consenting adults choose to marry, the Delhi High Court has said.
The court’s order came on a petition by a couple seeking police protection in the face of threats from some family members for getting married against their wishes.
Asking the police officials concerned to provide adequate protection to the couple, the court said the petitioners were well within their right to marry each other and “do not require any social approval for their personal decisions and choices”.
“The right to marry is an incident of human liberty. The right to marry a person of one’s choice is not only underscored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but is also an integral facet of Article 21 of The Constitution of India, which guarantees the right to life,” said Justice Saurabh Banerjee in a recent order.
“When the parties herein are two consenting adults who have chosen to willingly agree to join hands by way of marriage, there can hardly be any impediment on the way, be it from the parents/ relatives or the Society at large or the State. There is nothing left for anybody to interfere in the lives of the parties herein,” the judge said.
The petitioners told the court that they got married earlier this month according to Muslim rites and ceremonies but the family of the girl was threatening them with dire consequences.
The judge said the Supreme Court has recognised the right of every individual to marry a person of his or her choice and Article 21 of The Constitution of India gives Protection of Life and Personal Liberty to all people, which includes the inherent right of every individual to exercise personal choices, especially in matters related to marriage.
“The respondent nos.4 and 5, though family members of the petitioner no.2 (the girl), cannot be allowed to threaten the life and liberty of the petitioners, who do not require any social approval for their personal decisions and choices,” the court said.
“Thus, in the opinion of this Court, the petitioners herein are well and truly entitled for protection under Article 21 of The Constitution of India…Needless to say that the SHO and the Beat Constable concerned shall also take all possible steps to provide adequate assistance and protection, as and when needed, to the petitioners, in accordance with law,” ordered the court.