November 08, 2020

Erroneous Judgement of Allahabad HC

THE All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly feels that the Allahabad High Court's judgement which refused to protect a young couple who had approached it for protection from any coercive action presumably from their family or the police, is totally erroneous.

In a statement issued on November 2, AIDWA said that the couple had approached the court in a writ petition after they got married under Hindu rites. While the boy was a Hindu, the girl had converted to Hinduism from Islam. The court held that it was not inclined to interfere in the matter as the girl had got converted to Hinduism just a month earlier and the conversion was not genuine and only for the purpose of marriage. This showed that the court was against relationships by choice and conservatively believed that only married couples needed protection. In other words, instead of providing them protection against violence and all kinds of criminal charges which could follow, the court tangentially went into the validity of their marriage. Earlier judgements from Uttar Pradesh had provided other couples protection from being hounded like criminals and advised the couples to register their marriage under civil law. This court however refused to protect this couple though it must have known the widespread prevalence of crimes and killings in the name of honour.

Taking advantage of this judgement, Yogi Adityanath, UP chief minister, has once again declared a war against the so called "love jihad" and threatened that any Muslim boy who marries a Hindu girl after conversion will have to face a possible death. He has even threatened to bring a bill against such marriages. Yogi has declared this in the name of protecting Hindu daughters though no evidence has been found of the fictitious love jihad doctrine even in an investigation by the NIA or the police in any case throughout India. Yet BJP stalwarts and sympathisers constantly bring up this topic on several occasions. Even the NCW chairperson amongst others spoke against the recent advertisement by Tata which showed an inter-religious marriage. Tata was compelled to remove the advertisement.

The BJP is against marriage by choice specially inter caste and inter religious marriages. AIDWA feels that the acute misery and suffering to young couples this has caused and continues to cause must be addressed. It is high time that the Special Marriage Act be amended to allow young adults to marry without any delay or other hurdles. AIDWA also reiterates the need to bring in a law to validate relationships and marriages by choice and punish those who employ cruel and inhuman methods to stop these relationships.