Delhi High Court has stated an adult woman is free to reside wherever she wishes and with whoever she wants to.
A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar made the observation while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the family of a 20-year-old woman who left her house and got married.
She was tracked down by police owing to a missing complaint launched by the family members.
The family, seeking her presence before the court, claimed she had been falsely induced into leaving her home.
However, the woman told the court via video-conferencing that she willingly left her family home and got married.
During the hearing, the court observed that the woman in her statements made under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code admitted she went with the man, identified as Babloo, on her own free will and married him.
It then brushed aside the family’s objections and permitted her to reside with Babloo. It also directed the police to provide security to the married couple.
The development comes at a time states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are contemplating a law on love jihad.
After the clearance of the love jihad law by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, BJP-ruled states are following suit against religious conversions that have already sparked a nationwide debate on the freedom and right of an adult to marry anyone they choose.