J&K&L HC on Right to choose Life Partners

In the case Saba Wani & Anr. v. Union Territory of J&K and others,2021, J&K&L HC held that Right of two adults to choose each other as life partners is a fundamental right under Art. 19 (freedom) & Art. 21. Its Infringement is a Constitutional Law Violation. 

Case – Saba Wani & her husband (Majors) sought protection as they were anxious about being tortured by their relatives, against whose wishes these two married. The two married under Muslim personal law.

Jt. Tashi Rabstan observed that Consent of family or clan is not required if two adults wish to enter into a wedlock. The couple should be given Privacy under Art 21. 

Court observed that it is the obligation of the Constitutional Courts to zealously guard the right to liberty of an individual as dignified existence of an individual has an inseparable association with liberty. 

“…it is emphatically clear 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, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice and no one shall be permitted to interfere in the fructification of the said choice.”

The concept of liberty has to be weighed and tested on the touchstone of constitutional sensitivity, protection and values it stands for.

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