NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday favoured inter-faith and inter-caste marriages saying such relationships will promote socialism, while advising a Muslim man married to a Hindu woman to be “a loyal husband and a great lover”.
“We aren’t averse to inter-faith marriages. Hindu-Muslim marriages are also acceptable,” observed a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah. The bench was hearing a petition filed by a man from Chhattisgarh against the marriage of his daughter to a Muslim, who claimed to have converted to Hinduism in order to be accepted by his wife’s family.
The woman’s parents disputed his claim and contended that he had re-converted to Islam after the marriage. The woman’s father moved the SC after the high court allowed the couple to live together.
Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the woman’s father, submitted that a racket was being operated in the name of inter-faith marriages and the court should look into it.
The couple’s lawyers cited the SC order in Kerala’s Hadiya case to oppose an investigation into their marriage. The court queried the man on whether he had changed his name after the marriage in an Arya Samaj temple and taken legal steps to change his name.
The bench clarified that it will not investigate the marriage and only wanted to ensure that the girl’s interests are protected. “We are not on the law…We are only concerned about her future.” The bench sought a reply from the state government and slated the next hearing for September 24.
The bench further said live-in relationships have already been acknowledged by the court and hence, it doesn’t need to examine the issue at all. “We only want to protect the interests of the couple and be sure about their bonafide.”
During the hearing, Justice Mishra said, “It is also good if caste distinction is done away with. People in so-called high caste and low caste should marry each other. That is even better. They are good for socialism.”