The Supreme Court held that marriage is a right or choice afforded to two consenting adults and that the consent of their family or community is immaterial.
That right or choice of marriage does not consist in submitting to “class honor” or “groupthink”.
The court ordered the police authorities to develop guidelines and training programs for these socially sensitive cases.
In the present case, a girl escaped and married, and her father filed a complaint about missing persons with the local police.
The investigator asked her to report to the police station even if she found her whereabouts. If she does not do so, a kidnapping case against her husband would be registered at the urging of her family members.
In this regard, the Court found that police officers must use the necessary advisory tactics to resolve this type of sensitive problem and asked the authorities to establish guidelines for dealing with these situations within the next eight weeks.
It says: “Educated boys and girls choose their life partner, which in turn represents a deviation from the earlier norms of society, in which caste and community play an important role.”
This shift in social dynamics is seen by the courts as a way forward out of caste and community-level tensions.
If two consenting adults consent to marriage, their consent takes precedence over that of their community or clan.
Preventing a person from voting can be seen as a direct result of an erosion of his or her dignity which violates Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The court added, while repealing the FIR, suggesting parents accept marriage and restore social interaction with their daughter and son-in-law.