The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a man, who converted from Islam to Hinduism to marry a Hindu girl, to prove his bona fide.
Noting that he must be “a loyal husband and not only a great lover”, a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah explained that the court has asked him to prove his good intentions by filing an affidavit only in order to secure the girl’s future and safety.
“We want to know whether he has converted for marriage or otherwise… We are not averse to this kind of living together. We are all for inter-faith and inter-caste marriages,” the Bench remarked orally.
The case was heard on an appeal filed by the girl’s parents for their daughter. They moved the court after the Chhattisgarh High Court recorded the 24-year-old girl’s willingness to live with her ‘husband.’
The girl’s father, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, submitted that the marriage was a sham. The man had changed his name merely for the purpose of marriage. He had returned to the fold of Islam.
Mr. Rohatgi said “around 70 policemen came and took her (the girl) away.”
“Have you changed your name? Have you taken all legal steps to change the name?” the Bench asked the boy’s counsel and senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi.
Mr. Dwivedi said the court cannot intervene in the choice of a woman to decide whom to live her life with. The lawyer quoted the Hadiya case decision of the Supreme Court, which said the right to choice of partner is part of the fundamental right to life under Article 21.
Mr. Dwivedi said the court could very well summon the girl to gauge her response.
“I will file affidavit on bona fide within three days,” Mr. Dwivedi responded.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, for the girl, submitted she wanted protection from her father.
The Chhattisgarh government said the plea has been moved by “disgruntled parents”.