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LAXMIBAI CHANDARGAI B v. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Author: Falguni Khaparde, I year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Hidayatullah National Law University Raipur


Introduction

In India, marriage is the most important event, and as we all know, it involves the joining of two families, not just the bride and groom. In India, this is the most widely believed notion; marriages are typically settled when the bride's and groom's families agree. We live in the twenty-first century, and sometimes families reject marriage; nevertheless, does a couple's marriage become unlawful, void, or illegal if they marry anyway? Is it necessary to marry without one's family's consent?

The aforesaid question was answered in the landmark case of LaxmibaiChandaragi B v. State of Karnataka [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 359/2020], which was decided on February 8, 2021.


Facts

Mr. Basappa Chandaragi filed a complaint in Murgod police station in Belegavi District saying that Petitioner no. 1, Ms. Laxmibai Chandaragi, had gone missing on October 14, 2020. Petitioner no. 1, Ms. Laxmibai, was signed digitally as Asha Sundriyal on February 2, 2021 in touch with Petitioner no. 2, Mr. Santosh singh Yadav, according to call records and statements of missing persons' parents and relatives.


After further investigation, it was discovered that Petitioner no. 1 flew from Hubli to Banglore, then from Banglore to Delhi, and married Petitioner no. 2 without informing her parents. Petitioner no. 1 sent the marriage certificate to her parents via Whatsapp on October 15, 2020, reaveling the factum of marriage to Petitioner no.2.


The investigation officer was then informed by Petitioner no. 1that she was alredy married to Petitioner no. 2 and residing with him, but because of the missing FIR the investigating officer insisted Petitioner no.1 to appear before Murgod police station, so that the case can be closed. Later the Petitioner no.1 sent a letter to investigating officer stating that, she was married with Petitionerno.2 her parents are threatning her and hence, was unable to come before the police station.


It was pertinent that both the parties were well educated as petitioner no.1 was M.A.B.Ed. and Petitioner no.2 was M. Tech from NIT Triuchirapalli and was professor and lecturer, they fell in love with each other during these course and assignments.


In the aforesaid circumstances, the Petitioners filed the petition befor Hon’ble supreme court under Article 32 of Indian Constitution, stating that she was subject to dual jurisdiction because she lived with Petitioner no.2 in Uttar Pradesh whilw she was from Karnatka, both the Petitioner submitted that the were being threatened by the uncle of Petitioner no. 1 and hence, they seek protection from the Allahbad High court, but the petition could not reached on urgent hearing even after pressing it for approx. 1 month.


Judgement

The bench ordered that the FIR filed by the parents of the Petitioner no.1 was annuled and will have the better sense to accept the marriage and reestablish social interaction not only with Petitioner no. 1 Ms. Laxmibai Chandaragi but even with Petitioner no. 2 Mr. Santosh singh Yadav. The bench hoped that such exercise of alienating child and their spouse on grounds of caste and community is not desirable.


It was directed by the Hon’ble Supreme court that the councelling of the IO is necessary and also directed the police officer to device the training prograam and lay down guidelines to deal with such socially sensitive cases within next 8 weeks.


Analysis

After going through all the details of this land mark case, My opinion is that the Investigation was not particularly reflected the Investigating officer and the police department as Petitioner no.1 already gave the certificate of marriage which states that she was married to the Petitioner no. 2, she did not came to Murgod police Station because her parents threatened her and so she was scared, her parents were opposing the marriage but the parents of Petitioner no. 2 supported the marriage as both the Petitioner’s were well educated and also majors, they already know what they were doing.


Hon’ble supereme court stated that the young educated men and women choses there life partners is a departure from earlier societal convections in which caste and community plays a prominent role, but doing marriage in different caste and community is a step forward to the more mordern society and it also reduces the tension between the community, such man and women who does the intercaste marriage usually gets threats from there family but the courts supports them, which sets the great example in the society that the marriage in different caste and community is not illegal or void if the willingness is from both the ends.


In the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the Investigating Officer was sentenced to 8 weeks of counselling and training by the police department, demonstrating how important it is to follow the investigation process. This judgement has set a great example for the entire police department of how sensitive cases like this should be handled and how important it is to follow the investigation process, as the IO of this case visited the home of Petitioner No. 2 to learn where P was. In the following instance, the Hon'ble Supreme Court emphasises this fact.


Relying on judicial precedent the supereme court stated correctly that two mature adult can choose to enter into marriage even when the family, community or clan oposses and hence, the consent of family, community or clan is not required when two major adults willing to enter into marriage. Wit the Reliance was also placed on the case of Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar, 2017that an individual’s choice is very complicated linked with the dignity because dignity cnnot be thought of in the absence of choice such right of choice. From Article 21 of the indian constitution stated clearly that and was held including that the right to marry a peron of one’s choice.


We live in India, where marriage is a large decision that involves not only two individuals but the entire family, therefore family recognition is essential for an individual making a major decision like marriage in light of the following statement. Individual autonomy, especially in areas of family and marriage, is likewise vital to an individual's dignity, according to the supreme court. The supreme court also remarked that the bench hoped Petitioner no. 1's parents would see reason and recognise their marriage, allowing both of them to resume social activities.


Conclusion

Article 21 of India's Constitution guarantees the right to choose a life partner as a basic right. We also discover that an IO cannot compel someone to go to a specific police station to record a statement, and that police officers cannot intimidate someone with bogus charges, as the Apex Court has ruled. To sum up, the answer to the question of whether the agreement of family members is required once two people have agreed to marry is no. There is no need for clan, family, or community approval in any situation when two individuals have willingly consented to marry.