Allahabad High Court rules in favor of adults' right to choose, live with their own partners

The Allahabad High Court ruled that Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees an adult's freedom to live with a partner of their choosing or to consummate a marriage.

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The Allahabad High Court has ruled that no one can restrict an adult's freedom to go anywhere they choose, live with anyone they choose, or consummate a marriage following their wishes because Article 21 of the Constitution grants them this right. A judicial magistrate was criticized by a bench made up of Justice JJ Munir and Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal for sending a woman (petitioner no. 1) to her uncle's house after the uncle (respondent no. 3) filed a formal complaint against her husband (petitioner no. 2).

Despite the woman's declaration under Section 164 of the CrPC, in which she expressed fear for her life if transferred to her uncle's or parent's home, the magistrate had ordered her to her uncle's house.

Allahabad High Court takes the call 

The Allahabad High Court declared in its June 7 order that the judicial magistrate, in front of whom Petitioner No. 1 claimed she was afraid for her life because her uncle had threatened her, was "duty-bound" to file a formal complaint against the uncle and to take appropriate action to protect the first Petitioner's life and safety. The court further stated that the superintendent of police in Siddharth Nagar and the SHO of Police Station-Bansi in the district of Siddharth Nagar were "equally answerable" for their failure to take appropriate action against the woman's uncle by filing a proper police report and ensuring her safety and security, emphasizing that "honor killing in such matters is not an unknown phenomenon."

Here's what the other side said

According to Muslim customs, the 21-year-old petitioner married the guy of her choosing in April 2024, and the Telangana State Waqf Board certified their marriage. She married petitioner No. 2, and her uncle was upset about it. He filed a section 363 IPC FIR against her spouse. The woman was then taken to prison by the police, who also detained her husband and gave her to her uncle. She was brought before the magistrate by the police to make a statement under Section 164 CrPC, and she made it quite evident that she had chosen to marry Petitioner No. 2 and that her husband had been wrongly accused. She also conveyed worry that she would be killed by her uncle, who had been threatening her. The magistrate ordered her to be transferred to her uncle's house despite this.

Court action 

The petitioners moved to the high court, contesting the FIR. An adult is free to marry or live with the person of their choice, and no one, not even their parents or anybody acting on their behalf, can restrict that freedom. The Allahabad High Court made a similar decision last year. The court held that this freedom comes from the Constitution's guarantees of individual liberty and the right to life.