On Monday, the Himachal Pradesh High Court ruled that a girl is not a non-living thing or a cattle but is an independent living soul with rights, and when she attains the age of majority, she can use her discretion as per her wishes.
This observation was made in a petition related to a high caste woman who married a lower caste man.
Submission of the parties
The petitioner told the Court that respondent no.3 had detained his girlfriend so that she can’t marry him.
He further submitted that all this was done as the girl’s family believed that he was from a lower caste while they belonged to a higher caste.
The man requested the Court to direct the respondents to produce the girl in front of the Court and provide security to him and his family.
When the woman was produced before the Court, she stated that she was held against her wish by her family, relatives and friends just because she wanted to marry the petitioner.
Observations of the Court
The Court held that the Constitution governs the states, and if there is discrimination based on caste, it would be a violation of fundamental right.
Hon’ble Court referred to Shantanu and Satyavati’s marriage; and Dushyant with Shakuntla, which are said to be inter-caste marriages. He also stated that the marriage of Lord Shiva and Sati is also considered an inter-caste marriage.
Notably, the Court remarked that in ancient Vedic culture, the female was considered equal to men and considered higher.
Order of the Court
As per the Court, the woman’s decision to marry the petitioner was well-considered and determined, and it’s her right to marry whoever she wants to marry.
The woman further stated that even though she does not want to take legal action against her parents and relatives, she does not want to reside with them but wants to live with the petitioner’s sister. Therefore, the Court directed the authorities to escort her to the destination she wants to go to.