SC provides protection from arrest to man facing kidnapping charges following inter-caste marriage

A man, facing kidnapping charges after he married a woman of another caste, was provided protection from arrest by the Supreme Court even as it asked the Calcutta High Court to hear the petitioner’s anticipatory bail plea as early as possible.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and AS Oka passed the order on a petition filed jointly by the man and his wife, claiming they were major and had solemnized their marriage of their own accord on December 8, 2020.

The marriage was not accepted by the woman’s parents, who lodged an FIR against their son-in-law alleging that he had kidnapped their daughter.

The petitioner-husband approached the Calcutta High Court seeking anticipatory bail in April 2021 and despite his best efforts, the application could not be taken up for hearing. Apprehending that he could be arrested as a result of the FIR against him, he appealed to the Supreme Court for help.

The top court said ordinarily if an application for seeking pre-arrest bail is pending before a high court, it would not interfere in a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. But looking at the facts of the case, the apprehension of the husband that he could be arrested certainly cannot be doubted, it said.

The court also directed the Calcutta High Court to decide the anticipatory bail of the husband early, while giving him the liberty to seek a further extension of protection from arrest by filing an application in the high court.

Click here to read the order