“No one can interfere with the lives of two adult individuals who have decided to live together”
Recently held by the Allahabad High Court in Shaista Parveen @ Sangeeta & Anr. v. State of UP & Ors. This judgment came out as a direction on the petition by a couple filed against the respondents to not interfere in their married life and also for the protection of their lives and liberty. The petitioners claim that they are adults and living together out of their own free will. It is stated that for the said reason, respondents (the family members) have got annoyed and there is serious danger to the lives of the petitioners as they are being threatened and harassed.
Adult, as held in The Majority Act of 1875 (Indian Majority Act, 1875 earlier) means every person domiciled in India who attains the age of majority on completion of 18 years and not before is an adult. Further, in The Plantation Labour Act 1951, an ‘adult' means a person who has completed his eighteenth year.
From the record both the petitioners are major. Petitioner no. 1 (Hindu Women) has decided to follow the Muslim religion and as such, she converted herself to being Muslim. After conversion, the petitioner no. 1 has solemnized marriage with petitioner no. 2. Both the petitioners claim to be major and they allege there is the threat to their lives by the respondents. The Court has repeatedly held that where the two individuals having attained the age of majority, are living together, nobody is entitled to interfere in their peaceful life.
In Lata Singh vs. State of UP 2006 Cr.L.J. 3312, while dealing with a case of harassment by the parents of the boy and girl, who had entered into inter-caste marriage, Hon'ble Supreme Court has issued directions to the Administration/Police authorities throughout the country in the following terms:-
"This is a free and democratic country, and once a person becomes a major he or she can marry whosoever he/she likes. If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage the maximum they can do is that they can cut off social relations with the son or the daughter, but they cannot give threats or commit or instigate acts of violence and cannot harass the person who undergoes such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage. "
The Court directed the police to provide protection to the young couple, if necessary. The Court also directed the husband to create a fixed deposit of Rs. 3 lakhs in favor of his wife by the next date of hearing on February 2, 2021.