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Love cannot be controlled through rigours of law: Delhi high court

Jan 12, 2024 05:32 AM IST

Though the couple married with approval of the man’s parents, the woman’s father filed a case alleging she was sexually assaulted when she was a minor

Observing that love between individuals who are minors on the verge of being adults cannot be controlled — either through the rigours of the law or state action — the Delhi high court quashed a case registered against a man accused of eloping with a minor girl and marrying her according to Muslim rituals.

Justice Sharma, in the five-page order made public on Wednesday, said that while deciding cases involving a couple living a peaceful married life, the delicate balance between the application of law and the repercussions of strict orders on society should be taken into account. (HT Archive)
Justice Sharma, in the five-page order made public on Wednesday, said that while deciding cases involving a couple living a peaceful married life, the delicate balance between the application of law and the repercussions of strict orders on society should be taken into account. (HT Archive)

“When the scales of justice have to be weighed, they are not always on the basis of mathematical precision or mathematical formulas, but at times, while one side of the scale carries the law, the other side of the scale may carry the entire life, happiness and future of toddlers, their parents and parents of their parents. The scale that reflects and portrays such pure happiness sans any criminality will equal the scale carrying law as the application of the law is meant for maintaining the rule of law,” a bench of justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in the January 9 order.

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Justice Sharma, in the five-page order made public on Wednesday, said that while deciding cases involving a couple living a peaceful married life, the delicate balance between the application of law and the repercussions of strict orders on society should be taken into account.

“This court has... reached a conclusion that true love between two individuals, one or both of who may be minor or minors on the verge of majority, cannot be controlled through the rigours of law or state action,” the judge noted.

“The cases as the present ones are those where the dilemma of the judge... has to take into account the delicate balance which the constitutional Court or Courts of law have to strike between the law and its strict application and the repercussion of its judgments and orders by application of such laws on the society as a whole and the individuals who are before it,” the court added.

According to the details of the case, the man had approached the high court seeking to quash the case registered against him under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her mar­riage) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code by the girl’s (now woman) father.

Though the couple married with the approval of the man’s parents, the woman’s father filed the case alleging she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted when she was a minor after being informed about her daughter’s pregnancy.

The state, appearing through additional standing counsel Anmol Sinha, submitted that the woman was a minor at the time of the incident, according to her school records. The woman, who was present in court with the man and her in-laws submitted that she had voluntarily entered into a relationship with the man and was 18 years old at the time of the incident.

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