In Supreme Court of India
(2006) 5 SCC 475
Shyam Narayan Chouksey
State of U.P & Anr
Date of Judgement
7th July, 2006
Ashok Bhan and Markandey Katju
The case that we discuss today is a landmark judgment in the legal history of India. The case Lata Singh vs. State of U.P & Anr. Is landmark due to the fact that the Supreme Court allowed a writ petition filed by a girl Lata Singh for her right to marry a person of her choice with her own will and the SC agreed with the girl on the same and provided her with Police protection as well. Article 32 of the constitution provides for constitutional remedies which mean that a person has a right to move to Supreme Courts and high courts also for getting one’s Fundamental Rights protected. In this case the petitioner Lata Singh used to live with her brother and when she was major she moved out from the house by her own will to marry a man of her choice outside their caste and they married at Arya Samaj Mandir and had a daughter out of their marriage, the brothers of the petitioner were against this marriage and tortured and harassed the family of the husband as well as her. The relatives of the husband were falsely subjected in a case due to which they had to spend several days in lockup. National Human Rights Commission and state women commission intervened into the matter and bail was granted to all the accused afterwards the matter was referred to SC wherein the court decided to here the plea and provided the girl with police protection and stating that she has a right to chose her life partner by her own choice. This case brings out how in the name of caste honor killing is done provided what all traumas individuals have to go through if one marries outside their caste.
1. Whether the writ of certiorari and or mandamus for quashing of a trial could be issued in favour of petitioner or not?
1. The petitioner was a young woman aged about 27 years of age who graduated Lucknow University and due to sudden death of her parents she started living with her brother Ajay Pratap Singh in the colony named LDA colony, Kanpur Road, Lucknow.
2. On 02.11.2000 petitioner left her brother’s house by her own will and married her lover Brahma Nand Gupta at Arya Samaj Mandir, Delhi.
3. Out of this wedlock the couple had a child.
4. On 04.11.2000, the petitioner’s brother lodged a missing person report at Sarojini Nagar, Police Station, Lucknow. The police arrested two sisters named Mamta Gupta, Sangita Gupta of Brahma Nand Gupta petitioner’s husband and Rakesh Gupta husband of Mamta Gupta and also Kallu Gupta was arrested who was cousin of petitioner’s husband provided when Mamta was in jail she had her one moth child along.
5. Lata Singh’s Brothers Ajay Pratap Singh, Shashi Pratap Singh and Anand Pratap Singh were furious because their sister did an Inter-Caste Marriage and because of this they went to her Husband’s paternal Residence and bashed Husband’s mother and uncle.
6. They also lodged a False Police Report stating that the petitioner was kidnapped by her husband and her relatives also stating that the petitioner is not mentally fit.
7. The petitioner’s brothers threatened to kill her her, her husband and her relatives too and due to many allegations and circumstances three relatives and her husband had to live in jail and did not get bail also.
8. To save her husband and relatives petitioner approached The Rajasthan women Commission, Jaipur as she was staying there due to constant threat to her life and family.
9. After the state women commission and national human rights commission got into the matter bail was granted to all accused since no legal ground could be charged against them. Statement was recorded in front of judicial magistrate in which she stated that she had married with her own will and left home and she’s mentally stable.
10. After the opposition, the final report filed by the police and the fast track court issued a non-bailable warrant against which the petitioner approached to HC under section 482 in which court issued direction for accused to appear before the session judge, The matter remained pending.
11. The Petitioner was petrified to live with her family in Lucknow due to such events and after every efforts she could put in she filed a petition under Article 32 in SC.
1. Petitioner first contended that she married her husband by her own will thereby leaving her brother’s house.
2. It was later argued that her husband, relatives were harassed by her brothers.
3. False missing report was also filed by her brothers and it was also stated by them that she was mentally unstable.
1. Respondent contended that all the necessary inquiries regarding the case were taken.
2. Bail was granted to all the accused and statement of Lata Singh was also recorded for the same.
Significance of the Judgement:
1. Criminal proceedings against the petitioner’s husband and her relatives were quashed by the SC.
2. SC held that no offence was committed by the accused persons and it was mere the abuse and breach of the process of court as well as of the administrative machinery which created problems for the petitioner as well as for her family.
3. SC held that the writ petition was allowed due to the following circumstances mentioned above and quashed all the proceedings pending before the session court as well as before the Fast Track court, Lucknow
4. Court directed all the police authorities at all the concerned places to make sure that the petitioner neither her husband nor her husband relatives should be threatened or harassed. If anybody is found to be infringing authorities should take action as per law.
5. Court directed that all the law proceedings against the petitioner brothers and all others involved should be instituted by the concerned authorities.
6. It was also held that whenever such kind of cases are reported strict action is to be taken so that all those who do such things as violence and honor killing in pretext of religion would learn a lesson.
7. It was stated that there is no bar for inter-caste marriage under Hindu marriage act or any other law of the land so there is no question of petitioner’s marriage to her husband to be in question.
8. Caste system is a hindrance for nation’s development and has to be ended as soon as possible. This system divides the nation when the nation has to stand strong in unity.
9. Many news regarding honor killing and harassment are circulating now a days in country due to inter-caste marriages.
10. This judgment made it clear that women has a right to choose her own life partner and marrying outside caste is not a crime.
Edited by Shuvneek Hayer
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje