Observing that the consent is inherent under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Supreme court said that it won't interfere to issue a declaration separately.
In a major development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday declared that it will not interfere with Hindu marriage laws. Observing that the consent is inherent under the Hindu Marriage Act, the court said that it won’t interfere to issue a declaration separately. The Supreme Court also added that it won’t entertain arguments on how marriage ceremonies will be performed. This order by the apex court comes in the backdrop of a PIL that sought to make free consent mandatory for the marriage validation. The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to grant protection to a Karnataka woman who alleged that she has been married off without her consent. The woman has also sought striking down of certain provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act on the grounds that the consent of the bride or the groom has not been made mandatory in the law.
The SC bench said that it would treat this petition as a habeas corpus plea and would not deal with the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Act as sought by senior advocate Indira Jaising who was representing the aggrieved woman. The apex court bench observed that the Section 12 C of the Act provides for annulment of marriage if there is forced or fraudulent consent. The court agreed with the contention that the identity of the woman and her family members be not revealed and directed the Superintendent of the Police concerned to serve notices on the respondents and fixed the matter for further hearing on May 5.
The woman from Karnataka had filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking protection as she opposed her parents’ choice of marriage. The woman was in a relationship with a man of another caste. The girl had alleged that her parents forcibly married her off to a man who was not her choice.