Unless it is forced, conversion to Islam irrelevant to grant protection to a couple: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court passed the order on a petition moved by a couple seeking direction to family members and police not to interfere with their marital life and liberty

Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court
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NH Web Desk

The Allahabad High Court has granted police protection to a married couple facing threats to their lives, ruling that conversion of woman to Islam would not be a relevant factor when it comes to securing the liberty and life of the couple.

"It is further clarified that the fact of the petitioner having converted to Islam would not be a relevant factor while ensuring that there is no interference in the liberty of the petitioners unless there is any allegation by petitioner no.1 regarding forcible conversion," a single-judge bench of Justice Salil Kumar Rai held on Tuesday, as per a report carried by Bar & Bench.

The Court passed the order on a petition moved by a couple (petitioners) seeking direction to the respondents (family members and police) not to interfere with their marital life and liberty.

The couple was asked to approach the Senior Superintendent of Police of the district, who shall take all steps required to ensure that the petitioners' life and liberty are not interfered with.

"In case petitioners face any genuine threat to their life and liberty, or they are harassed, contrary to law laid down in Lata Singh (supra), it shall be open for them to approach the Senior Superintendent of Police of the District concerned and furnish necessary details in that regard, like proof of their majority, marriage and alleged harassment etc., who shall take all steps as may be required in law to ensure that petitioners' life and liberty are not interfered with, keeping in view the directions issued in Lata Singh (supra)," the order stated.

The petition was moved by Yashi Devi (aged about 20 years) and Guchhan Khan (aged about 40 years) who entered into marriage on January 11, 2021 after Yashi converted to Islam.

While placing reliance on the Supreme Court's judgment in Lata Singh v. State of UP, the Court noted that the law is settled that adult married couples have a right to live peacefully without any interference.

In that judgment, it was held, "We, therefore, direct that the administration/police authorities throughout the country will see to it that if any boy or girl who is a major undergoes inter-caste or inter-religious marriage with a woman or man who is a major, the couple are not harassed by any one nor subjected to threats or acts of violence, and any one who gives such threats or harasses or commits acts of violence either himself or at his instigation, is taken to task by instituting criminal proceedings by the police against such persons and further stern action is taken against such persons as provided by law."

The Court clarified that the filing of this petition or the order of its disposal would not be treated as proof of marriage between the petitioners.

"It is also clarified that petitioners, if major, are entitled to live together even if not married and, therefore, proof of their marriage would not be required and shall not be insisted upon by the concerned police officer," the Court added.

The petition was thus disposed of, with an option given to the respondents to seek its recall in case any of the averments made in the plea are found to be incorrect.

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