NEW DELHI: Disposing of an interfaith marriage case, a division bench of the Allahabad High Court recently observed that the right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty.
Critiquing an earlier verdict of the same court, which claimed “conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable,” the bench said it had not laid good law.
A bench of justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal said: “We fail to understand that if the law permits two persons even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even the state can have an objection to the relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together.”
The observation came on petitions filed by Salamat Ansari and Priyanka Kharwar seeking a direction not to arrest them and for quashing an FIR filed on her father’s complaint under Sections 363, 366, 352, 506 IPC and Section 7/8 POCSO Act, which was filed on behest of girl’s father.
The couple in its petition stated that as they both had attained the age of majority and were competent to contract a marriage, they performed Nikah on August 19, 2019, after Priyanka Kharwar embraced Islam.
“We do not see Priyanka Kharwar and Salamat as Hindu and Muslim, rather as two grown-up individuals who out of their own free will and choice are living together peacefully and happily over a year.... Interference in a personal relationship, would constitute a serious encroachment into the right to freedom of choice of the two,” the HC said.