Shakti Vahini vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment
Shakti Vahini vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 -
On 27th March, 2018, in the case of Shakti Vahini v. Union of India and others [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 231 of 2010], the question for consideration was whether the elders of the family or clan can ever be allowed to proclaim a verdict guided by some notion of passion and eliminate the life of the young who have exercised their choice to get married against the wishes of their elders or contrary to the customary practice of the clan.
Answering the question with an emphatic “No”, a three Judge Bench held that “it is because the sea of liberty and the ingrained sense of dignity do not countenance such treatment inasmuch as the pattern of behaviour is based on some extra-constitutional perception. Class honour, howsoever perceived, cannot smother the choice of an individual which he or she is entitled to enjoy under our compassionate Constitution. And this right of enjoyment of liberty deserves to be continually and zealously guarded so that it can thrive with strength and flourish with resplendence.” The Bench held that “feudal perception has to melt into oblivion paving the smooth path for liberty” and that “any kind of torture or torment or ill-treatment in the name of honour that tantamounts to atrophy of choice of an individual relating to love and marriage by any assembly, whatsoever nomenclature it assumes, is illegal and cannot be allowed a moment of existence.” It was held that “the consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock.”
To meet the challenges of the agonising effect of honour crime, the Supreme Court observed that there has to be preventive, remedial and punitive measures and, accordingly, stated the broad contours and the modalities with liberty to the executive and the police administration of the concerned States to add further measures to evolve a robust mechanism for the stated purposes.