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‘Not Hindus, Muslims for us, couples’ right to choice prevails’: Allahabad HC observes

Amidst row over inter-faith marriages, the Allahabad High Court in a key verdict has said two adults have the right to choose their life partner. The court said that the law allows two adults to live together. The court made it clear that no person or family could interfere in their peaceful life. Even the state cannot object to the relationship of two adults, said the court.

The HC’s judgment came on the petition filed by Salamat Ansari and three others living in Vishnupura police station area of Kushinagar. It’s alleged that Salamat and Priyanka Kharwar married against the will of the family. Both of them got married on August 19, 2019 as per Muslim rituals. After marriage, Priyanka Kharwar became Alia. Priyanka’s father has filed an FIR in the case, alleging kidnapping of their daughter under the POCSO Act.

 

On behalf of Salamat and three others, a petition was filed in the High Court demanding the cancellation of the FIR and security. The court found that there is no dispute about the age of Priyanka Kharwar aka Alia as she is 21 years old. The court has allowed her to live with her husband. The court said that the POCSO Act does not apply in this case. The court has also quashed the FIR lodged against the petitioners.

At the same time, taking into the right of a father to meet his daughter, the High Court said Priyanka Kharwar or Alia has the freedom to meet whoever she wants to. However, the HC also hoped that the daughter would behave with all due etiquette and respect for the family. Her father said that religious conversion for marriage is prohibited. Such marriage is not valid in the eyes of law, he stated.

On this, the court said that the contempt of a person’s choice is against the right to freedom of choice. The court said that it does not see Priyanka Kharwar and Salamat as Hindus and Muslims.

The court said that Article 21 of the Constitution gives freedom to live peacefully with a person by his choice and desire. It cannot be interfered with. This order has been given by the Division of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal.