- Apprentice Lawyer
The Delhi Police recently told the Delhi High Court that it would provide adequate protection to the lives of an inter-faith couple who fled from Uttar Pradesh fearing harassment and intimidation.
The statement was made before a single-judge Bench of Justice Anu Malhotra in a petition filed by the inter-faith couple.
The couple desired to marry each other under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, out of their own free will and volition, without any intention of converting their religion.
Apprehending that the Muslim-partner would be embroiled in false criminal cases and would face acute harassment at the hands of vigilante groups, the couple fled from their parental homes in Uttar Pradesh and travelled to Delhi.
Thereafter, they approached an NGO as they did not have any secure place of residence and apprehended grave harm and injury to their life, limb and liberty.
Before the High Court, the inter-faith couple prayed for adequate protection, as well as arrangements for their accommodation, in view the directions of the Supreme Court's order in Shakti Vahini vs Union of India.
The couple further prayed that a direction be issued to the Hindu-girl's father to not interfere or impede their decision to marry each other.
It was also prayed that in the event of any investigation by the Uttar Pradesh police, the couple be not taken out of the territorial jurisdiction of Delhi.
In response to the petition, the Delhi government stated that its Department of Social Welfare was ready to provide an adequate safe house in terms of the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Delhi Police also said that it was aware of the matter and that the numbers of the Beat Constable and the SHO concerned had already been provided to the couple.
As and when required, adequate protection would be provided to the lives of the couple, it said.
The court recorded that the authorities would remain bound by their submissions.
Since the other prayers qua protection from coercive action were found to be in the realm of speculations, the court opined that no orders were warranted at this stage.
Advocates Vrinda Grover, Aakarsh Kamra, Soutik Banerjee appeared for the couple.
Advocate Chaitanya Gosain appeared for State.