The Allahabad High Court in a key verdict over the Ruckus on inter-faith marriages has stated that two adults have the right to choose their life partners. The Allahabad HC, highlighting that it does not see a Hindu or a Muslim in a couple, said that charging contempt a person for his choice is against the right to freedom. It is allowed by the law that two adults can live together, regardless of them being the same or of the opposite sex. Even the state cannot object to the relationship on any grounds, the court also made it clear that there shouldn’t be any interference by any person or family in their peaceful life.
On reviewing the filed petition by Salamat Ansari along with three others who live in the Vishnupura police station area in Kushinagar, the High Court came to a decision. The petition was filed because it is alleged that Salamat and Priyanka Kharwar married against their family’s will. The duo got married on 19th August 2019 as per Muslim Rituals. Priyanka’s father, after the marriage, filed an FIR, reporting it a case of kidnapping their daughter under the POCSO Act.
A petition was filed in the High Court on behalf of Salamat and the three others as a demand to cancel the FIR and security. On further review of the case, the High Court found that there isn’t any dispute in Priyanka Kharwar (aka Alia, post-marriage) age, as she is 21y/o, as a result, the court allowed her to live with her husband. The High Court suppressed the FIR lodged by the petitioners and also stated that the POCSO Act doesn’t apply in this case.
In the order given by the Division of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal, the court stated that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution gives freedom to live peacefully with a person of his/her choice and desire, which cannot be interfered with.
Looking into the right of the father to meet his daughter, the Allahabad HC stated that Priyanka Kharwar has the freedom to meet whoever she wishes to. The High Court also showed an expectation that the daughter would behave will all due respect and the right etiquette for the family.
Priyanka’s father expressed that religious conversion for marriage is prohibited. Such marriage cannot be valid in the eyes of law. On hearing this the High Court replied, that the contempt of a person’s choice is against the freedom of choice. The High Court said that it does not see Priyanka Kharwar and Salamat as Hindus and Muslims.