The Allahabad High Court quashed a criminal case against a man under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as Sections 7/8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The Court observed that societal pressures leading to legal actions against children's marital choices were concerning.

A Bench of Justice Prashant Kumar remarked, “This is a clear case of the dark face of our society. Even today, when children who marry on their own their parents under their family and societies pressure do not approve the marriage and go to the extent of filing F.I.R. against the boy.”

Advocate Gunjan Yadav appeared for the Applicant and Advocate Shashidhar Pandey appeared for the appeared for the Opposite party.

The applicant has married the third party (opposite party no.3) and they were living together. The father of the third party, unhappy with the marriage, filed an FIR which led to the chargesheet being filed and summon issued.

Opposite party no.3's counsel confirmed that they are married and happy, and the case was initiated by the father due to his dissatisfaction with the marriage.

The Court expressed concern about societal pressures leading to such situations, where parents resort to legal actions against their children's choices in marriage. The Court added, “The court after hearing the parties, records its deepest anguish, whereby this social menace is deep rooted that even after 75 years of independence we are fighting the cases with his opponents on this score only.”

The Court cited judgments emphasizing individual liberty in choosing one's partner and place of residence, regardless of age, as long as the individual is above eighteen years and sui juris. The Court said, “This is the greatest impediment in our society but the requirement of law is that whne both the parties have agreed and now they are happily residing as husband and wife with their small kid, there cannot be any impediment in accepting this marriage in the light of the judgment of Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Mafat Lal and Another Vs. State of Rajasthan in Crl. Appeal No. 592 of 2022 decided on 28-03-2022.”

Considering the happy marital status of the applicant and opposite party no.3, and in line with legal precedents respecting individual liberty, the Court allowed the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and quashed the proceedings of the criminal case mentioned.

Cause Title: Sagar Savita v. State of U.P. & Ors., [2024:AHC:15322]


Applicant: Advocate Ajay Sengar

Opposite Party: Advocates Akshay Raj Singh and Satya Prakash Chaturvedi

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