No one can interfere with inter-faith marriages - Fusion - WeRIndia

SC: No one can interfere with inter-faith marriages

SC: No one can interfere with inter-faith marriages

Khap panchayats are known for their encouragement of honor killing, in which people who marry outside of their religion or caste are killed.

Although they say that most of the people who bring about these honor killings are the close relatives and friends of the couples, especially the relatives of the girls, there can be no doubt that khap panchayats have a massive influence on people who engage in honor killings.

Now, the Supreme Court has just taken a firm stance against khap panchayats, and has asked the Center take steps to protect the lives and freedom of people with “opposed” marriages.

The court was hearing a petition that was filed eight years ago by the NGO Shakti Vahini, in which they asked the court to help them put an end to the crime and violence caused by khap panchayats on people who marry outside of their caste.

The court has come to a decision that no one but the law and the courts can decide when a marriage is wrong, and khap panchayats are not allowed to interfere with that marriage.

Even parents and close relatives are forbidden from harassing or interfering with interfaith marriages since the court says that none of them “have to play the conscience keeper of the society.”

Narinder Hooda, the representative of the Sarv Khap Panchayats of Rohtak, defended his position by saying that, since religious scriptures prohibit these opposed marriages from existing, then these prohibitions should also be part of the law.

However, the court responded that the law will take its own course, and will act as the conscience keeper of society, as it should. If a marriage is illegal, the law will decide if the marriage must be declared null and void.

Khap panchayats and relatives of the couple will no longer be allowed to have any say on the matter.

Image Credit: Beemall.99 / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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