NEW DELHI: When two consenting adults get married irrespective of their background, no relative or a third person can interfere or threaten or unleash violence against them, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.
The Centre told the top court that state governments must provide protection to couples fearing for their lives due to inter-caste or inter-faith marriages and such couples should inform the marriage officers of any such threat so that they can be protected.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it will pass a detailed judgement on a plea filed by NGO Shakti Vahini, which had moved the apex court in 2010 seeking protection of couples from honour killings.
“When two consenting adults get married irrespective of their background, no relative or third person can oppose or interfere with violence or threat to their life,” the bench also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said.
In an indication that it would not recognise ‘khap’ panchayats’, the top court said it would refer to them only as an assembly of persons or as a community group.
“I will not refer to a caste or village panchayat as ‘khap’ but may rather say an assembly of persons or community groups, in the verdict,” the Chief Justice said.
The apex court had earlier said incidents of attacks against those going for inter-caste or inter-faith marriages were “absolutely illegal” and no khap panchayat, individual or the society could question any adult woman or man marrying of their own choice.