THE Allahabad High Court has said conversion to Islam is not a relevant factor while ensuring police protection to a married couple facing threats to their lives.
The court was ruling on a petition filed by a couple seeking direction to their relatives not to interfere with their marital life and liberty.
“… the fact of the petitioner having converted to Islam would not be a relevant factor while ensuring that there is no interference in the liberty of the petitioners unless there is any allegation by petitioner no.1 regarding forcible conversion”, Justice Salil Kumar Rai said, pointing out that the law was settled that it is the right of couples to live peacefully without any interference in case they are major.
Petitioners Yashi Devi, 20, and Guchhan Khan, 40, were married on 11.1.2021 after Devi converted to Islam. The duo contended that they were major and had had their marriage solemnized of their own free will.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bhagwan Dass Vs. State (NCT of Delhi), (2011) 6 SCC 396, the high court held it was obligatory for the concerned authorities to ensure that the petitioners were provided necessary protection by the police in case they were facing a genuine threat to their life and liberty, or were being harassed.
It said the petitioners could approach the Senior Superintendent of Police of the District concerned and furnish proof of their majority, marriage and alleged harassment etc., and the latter would take all steps as required by law to ensure that the couple’s life and liberty was not interfered with.
The court also clarified that the petitioners, if major, were entitled to live together even if not married and, therefore, proof of their marriage would not be required and should not be insisted upon by the concerned police officer.