The High Court of Jharkhand has come to the rescue of a 26-year-old woman whose relatives allegedly want to marry her off to someone double her age as they are opposed to her relationship with a man of another religion.
Justice S K Dwivedi ordered the Ranchi senior superintendent of police (SSP) to intervene in the matter and ensure that the Muslim woman is not coerced in any way.
“Such marriages will reduce the caste and community tensions and is the way forward,” the judge said in his order on Tuesday.
The court was hearing a criminal writ petition filed by the woman, a resident of Ranchi district, who claimed that she is being forced to marry a man double her age by her relatives.
The petitioner said she lives with her elder sister and brother-in-law at a place under the Gonda police station.
Her family members are opposed to her relationship with a man belonging to a different religion.
“These youngsters face threats from the elders of their own families. The right to marry is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India and is an integral part of the dignity of an individual,” the court said in its order.
Justice Dwivedi directed the petitioner to approach the Ranchi SSP on Wednesday, who, after hearing her woes, instructed the police station concerned to record her statement and ensure that her dignity is protected.