NEWS: Allahabad HC reunites interfaith couple

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

The Division Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agrawal in Smt Shikha (Corpus) and another v. State of U.P and 3 others [Habeas Corpus Writ Petition No. – 745 of 2020] has ordered that the interfaith couple of Etah be reunited, observing that since the woman had attained the age of majority, she has a choice to live her life on her own terms and with her husband without any restrictions or hindrances by others.

The Bench also quashed the FIR lodged against the lady’s husband date 27 September, 2020 under Section 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) of the Indian Penal Code filed at Kotwali Dehat police station.

Hearing the ‘habeas corpus’ petition filed by Salman (Shikha’s husband) which pleaded that his wife was sent to her parents’ house by the CWC against her wishes, the court observed in its order dated 18 December, 2020:

The Woman (Shikha) is a major and had “expressed that she wants to live with her husband (Salman Khan) she is free to move as per her own choice without any restriction or hindrance being created by third party”.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Etah and Child Welfare Committee who had earlier taken cognizance of the matter, and remanded Shikha to the custody of her parents on the pretext of her being a minor, were reprimanded by the High Court showing “lack of appreciation of legal provisions”. The Court noted that such step was taken by CWC “without any application of mind and against her wish.”

The decision has come in light of the recent 2020 UP ‘Religious Conversion’ Ordinance which has led to widespread targetting of inter-faith couples by the State machinery and Right wing groups under the pretext of ‘Love Jihad’.

Legal Wires

Team @LegalWires

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