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No Interference Needed When Adult Woman Marries as Per Her Choice and Decides to Convert: Calcutta High Court

By Gautami Chakravarty      23 December, 2020 07:05 PM      0 Comments
No Interference Needed When Adult Woman Marries as Per Her Choice and Decides to Convert: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High recently made it clear that if an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there could be no interference in the matter.

The Bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee was hearing a plea by a father alleging that daughter aged 19 had gone missing on or about September 15, 2020.

The background of the Case

According to a report filed by the Officer-in-Charge of Murutia Police Station dated December 7, 2020, one Asmaul Shaikh had married the petitioner's daughter Pallabi Sarkar. The report also contained a copy of a statement rendered by Pallabi on September 16, 2020 before the Judicial Magistrate, Tehatta under Section 164, CrPC, 1973 which indicated that she had a relationship with Asmaul and was willingly living with Asmaul.

In response to his allegations, Court ordered that Pallabi be brought before the senior-most Additional District Judge stationed in Tehatta and the petitioner would also be present before the Judge. The Court also ordered that the petitioner and his daughter be allowed to interact in the presence of the concerned Additional District Judge and to ensure that there is no pressure which is brought to bear on Pallabi at the time of such interaction.

Consequently, to allay the father's suspicion, the Court has, on Monday( December 21,2020) ordered that Pallabi Sarkar , would meet Mr. The Court also ordered that at the time that Pallabi meets Mr. Bapuli, there should be no one else in the room, including Pallabi's husband. The statement by the Calcutta High Court assumes relevance in the backdrop of recent cases wherein converting one's religion or marrying someone from another religion has sparked controversy and there are numerous examples to this effect. This was after the Court had noted that the girl was a Muslim by birth and she had converted her religion to Hinduism, just a month before the marriage was solemnized. , in which it was observed that conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable.

Overruling this Judgment and declaring it bad in law, the Allahabad High Court has, on 11th November, 2020 specifically observed that "the Right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty".

Rulings by other Courts

It is well settled that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion. 

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