Separated By The Police, Delhi High Court Reunites Married Interfaith Couple
The Delhi High Court pulled up the Ghaziabad Police for forcibly separating an interfaith couple. The HC directed the police to immediately reunite them stating that the Delhi police unlawfully separated the couple, despite knowing that the woman is above the age of 21 years and had married the Hindu man out of her will.
The couple got married in Ghaziabad on June 28, 2018. Soon after the marriage, they started residing at the man’s residence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in New Delhi.
According to News18, on July 3, few policemen (in civilian clothes) accompanied by JNU security personnel forcibly separated the couple. The police took away the Muslim woman and took the man into custody. The husband was taken to the Loni police station in Ghaziabad and kept in the lock-up for three days.
The man alleged that he was beaten up and abused by the cops. He also claimed that he was threatened by the police saying that if he tried to reunite with his wife, he would be falsely implicated in a rape case.
The Delhi HC
The High Court slammed the cops while hearing the habeas corpus (a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, primarily to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.) plea filled by the husband seeking to produce his wife as he has not been able to contact her.
The bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel asked for an explanation from the Ghaziabad Police over the claims that the cops kept a person in the custody from July 3 to July 5 without producing him before a Court.
According to live law, Inspector Gagan Bhaskar, the SHO of PS Vasant Kunj (North) has been asked to explain “the circumstances under which he permitted Sandeep and Nisha to be taken away from JNU by the police of PS Loni without the requirements of law being complied with.”
During the hearing, Inspector Gagan Bhaskar, in its status report, stated that on 24 July, an FIR was registered against the husband under Section 366 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage. The report also mentioned that the FIR was registered on a complaint filed by the woman’s brother.
The status report also pointed out that the woman was produced before the concerned Court after being picked up from her husband’s residence in JNU and later she was handed over to her family.
The court’s order
However, on the day of the hearing, the woman was produced before the court. According to the Hindu, the Bench met the woman in the judge’s chamber. The girl revealed that she had married the man out of her own choice and that her marriage was also registered at Ghaziabad. She further expressed her desire to reunite with her husband.
The bench also met the woman’s mother and explained to her that even though she may have reservations about her daughter’s marriage, however, the latter is entitled to make her own choices as she is an adult.
Following which, the mother responded saying that it would be up to her daughter to take any further decision about her life. The court has directed the police to provide security to the couple and their families and listed the matter for further hearing on August 7.
The Logical Indian Take
How can a legally married couple be separated by the police? The role of the police, in this case, needs to be closely scrutinised. In fact, there have been cases of honour killing as well, where the police acted as if they were on the side of the accused. If the police themselves go against the law and order, what recourse do the common citizens have?