The Allahabad High Court stressed the importance of saving human lives from honour killings due to misguided emotions or notions of morality, stating that no citizen can kill another for holding a different opinion.

The Bench was dismayed to find that an adult woman, fearing for her life due to her marriage of her own volition, had made a statement before a Magistrate. In turn, the Magistrate reportedly returned her to the custody of the same uncle. Remarking that "an adult cannot be sent into custody of another and forced to stay with him/her," the Court promptly ordered police protection for the married couple and quashed the FIR lodged against the woman's husband.

A Division Bench of Justice J.J. Munir and Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal observed, “This matter has a slightly serious angle to it, because petitioner no.1 in her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C., has expressed an apprehension that she would be done to death. Honour killing in such matters is not an unknown phenomenon and it is very important to save a human life from extinction on account of misguided emotions or notions of morality. This issue is quite independent of the issue of matrimony that the parties have entered into. No citizen can kill another for holding a different opinion and it is the foremost duty of the State to preserve human life.

Advocate Manoj Kumar Rajbhar represented the petitioners, while G.A. Ravindra Prakash Srivastava appeared for the respondents.

The couple claimed that they were adults who had married of their own free will. The woman presented her Secondary School Certificate issued by the Maharashtra State Board, verifying her age as 21. Their marriage was certified by the Telangana State Waqf Board.

The first petitioner's mark-sheet clearly establishes that she is an adult much above 18 years. Even if the petitioners have not married each other, no one can restrain an adult from going anywhere that he/she likes, staying with a person of his/her choice, or solemnizing marriage according to his/her will or wish. This is a right which flows from Article 21 of the Constitution,” the Court stated.

The Court found that the allegations in the FIR against the husband by the family of the woman did not disclose the commission of any offence. The Court stated that adults had the right to marry according to their wishes under Article 21 of the Constitution.

This Court is further constrained to observe that the learned Magistrate before whom the prosecutrix said that she feared for her life because Mohd. Jaheer had threatened to do her death was duty bound to get an FIR registered against Mohd. Jaheer, besides taking adequate measures to secure the safety and life of the first petitioner. The learned Magistrate did nothing.” the Court noted.

Consequently, the Bench quashed the impugned FIR under Section 363 of the IPC and issued a mandamus to the Police to ensure that the woman could go “wherever she likes and stays with whomsoever she wants” without any hindrance from her family.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Smt Naziya Ansari & Anr. v. State of U.P. & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC:102679-DB)


Petitioners: Advocates Manoj Kumar Rajbhar and Surendra Mohan Mishra

Respondents: G.A. Ravindra Prakash Srivastava

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