The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recently held that the for the two adults getting married have the liberty to chose their life partners of their own, and the need for consent of family or community is not a necessary element. Hon’ble Judge Tashi Rabstan said that, “When two adults choose each other as life partners, it is manifestation of their choice which is recognised under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.” This observation was made in a case filed by a couple who decided to get married against the will of their families. They content that they have been living peacefully after their matrimonial ceremony, however, the blunders have been created by their relatives who were initially now happy with this relationship.
The order by the court is quoted as, “Such right has sanction of constitutional law and once that is recognised, said right needs to be protected and it cannot succumb to conception of class honour or group thinking. Consent of family or community or clan is not necessary once two adult individuals agree to enter into wedlock and their consent has to be piously given primacy.” The Life and liberty of an individual is considered to be of paramount importance and based upon same principle, the court observed that, “Life and liberty sans dignity and choice is a phenomenon that allows hollowness to enter into the constitutional recognition of identity of a person. The choice of an individual is an extricable part of dignity.”
At last, it is highlighted that the right to chose a partner or the right to marry a person of their own choice is a significant part of the individuals’ right to liberty. Thus, in any case when two adults voluntary marry of their own and surpass the community beliefs to follow their own dreams and idea, they have the liberty to do so. With this, the court also ordered the State and Police authorities to provide adequate security to the couple in order to ensure avoid the disturbance and violence caused by their relatives and other community members.