New Delhi: Runaway marriages and inter-caste weddings are manifestation of general changes in the caste-ridden Indian society which should not be looked down upon and law enforcing agencies should protect such couples from harassment, a Delhi court has ruled.
"Runaway marriages are manifestation of general change and are a result of stringent caste system. Such marriages should not be looked with bad eyes," Civil Judge Samar Vishal said directing the police to give due protection to a young couple.
The parents of a forward caste girl, who married a scheduled caste boy, was restrained from interfering in their life by the court which noted that they were living under constant fear and had taken shelter at a secret place.
"Harassment of couples who married against wishes of their parents is not alien to our society, basically when the marriage is inter-caste and inter-religious," the court said, noting the girl is major and married on her own free will.
The girl, who is 18-year-old, had married the boy at a Arya Samaj temple, on July 15 this year.
The couple complained that girl`s parents had given them an open threat to liquidate them.
"There is no dearth of incidents in our country where such persons are harassed for marrying against wishes of their parents. It even involves barbarous crime of honour killing.”
"It is obligation of the defendants (girl`s parents) not to interfere in the married life of the plaintiffs (couple) as they are major and free to act as they like to...," the court said in its order. The court also said that it was the duty of the administration as well as police to see that the persons who are major and marry on their own free will, are protected.
The couple, who were from Wazirabad in north Delhi, alleged that the girl`s parents wanted to marry her off within their own caste and sought a direction to the police to give
The girl`s parents appeared in the court and assured that they would not interfere in her life but wanted the couple to reside in another locality as the marriage has tarnished their reputation.
The court, which recorded statements of the parents of the girl, gave direction to the SHO Timarpur to give due protection to the couple and to consider any complaint by them regarding their safety and security.