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Right to Choose a Partner of Choice is a Fundamental Right: Allahabad HC

Fundamental Right POCSO
The Allahabad High Court held that the right to live with a person of his/her choice, regardless of the religion professed by them is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty, in an important ruling in the midst of the attempt of states to introduce laws for "love-jihad”.

 

A bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal remarked, "We fail to understand that if the law permits two persons even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even the state can have an objection to the relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together".

The judgement was delivered on November 11, 2020 in a case where Salamat Ansari had married Priyanka Kharwar, who had then voluntarily converted her faith to Islam. Priyanka's father, however had filed a police case accusing Salamat of offences under the POCSO Act,2012.

Firstly, the court observed that the question of the age of the woman was resolved and that at the time she left home, she was a major.It then went on to say that it does not see the two petitioners as Hindu or Muslim, but as two grown-up individuals" who have their own free will living together peacefully and happily for a year now.

"The court also noted significantly that the recent judgments held that religious conversion was "bad in law" only for the purpose of marriage. In two of these rulings, the court acknowledged that the wishes of the women concerned should have been recognised by a constitutional court because they were both over 18 years of age. 

Therefore the court quashed the FIR against Salamat and said that it was up to the woman to determine if she would like to meet her father.


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