Lata Singh vs State of U.P. Supreme Court Case

 Lata Singh vs State of U.P. Supreme Court Case

On 7th July, 2006, a two Judge Bench in Lata Singh vs State of U.P. & Another [Criminal Writ Petition No.208 of 2004] expressed concern over the several instances of harassment, threats and violence against young men and women who marry outside their caste and held that “such acts of violence or threats or harassment are wholly illegal and those who commit them must be severely punished.”

Observing that “inter-caste marriages are in fact in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system”, the Bench held that “once a person becomes a major he or she can marry whosoever he/she likes. If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage the maximum they can do is that they can cut off social relations with the son or the daughter, but they cannot give threats or commit or instigate acts of violence and cannot harass the person who undergoes such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage.” Accordingly the Bench directed the administration/police authorities throughout the country to see to it “that if any boy or girl who is a major undergoes inter-caste or inter-religious marriage with a woman or man who is a major, the couple are not harassed by any one nor subjected to threats or acts of violence, and any one who gives such threats or harasses or commits acts of violence either himself or at his instigation, is taken to task by instituting criminal proceedings by the police against such persons and further stern action is taken against such persons as provided by law.”

Referring to instances of ‘honour killings’ of persons undergoing inter-caste or inter-religious marriage of their own free will, the Bench said “there is nothing honourable in such killings, and in fact they are nothing but barbaric and shameful acts of murder committed by brutal, feudal minded persons who deserve harsh punishment.”

Landmark Cases of India  / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


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