Supreme Court orders protection for Karnataka woman in ‘forced marriage’

THE SUPREME Court on Wednesday ordered police protection to a Karnataka politician’s daughter who walked away from her husband, alleging that the marriage was forced on her by her family and that she wanted to spend her life with a person from another caste.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to ask Delhi Police to provide protection to the woman, who is in Delhi at present and under protection of Delhi Commission for Women.

Issuing notices to the state of Karnataka, her husband and others, the court agreed not to reveal her identity as well as that of others referred to in her petition.

In her petition, the woman also challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, but the court said it would restrict itself to the question of providing protection to her.

Appearing for her, advocate Indira Jaising said the marriage was done without her consent. But the court said that “such an inference cannot be drawn from a writ petition” and that she will have to file civil action to get the marriage declared null and void. Whether there was consent or not is a part of evidence, the CJI said.

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