According to a recent ruling by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh bench of single-judge Justice MA Chowdhary in the case of Kulsum Bano v. Union Territory of J & K, when two adults consentively choose each other as their life partners, the consent of their family members is not required because only the consent of the parties involved needs to be given priority when two adults decide to get married.
A girl and a boy who were married against the wishes of their families but in accordance with Muslim customs brought a case before the court. As they anticipated physical harm from their family members, they sought protection.
The Court stated in its order from June 17 that it is the constitutional courts’ duty to zealously protect a person’s right to liberty because a person’s right to a dignified existence is inextricably linked to their right to liberty.
It would be extremely challenging to imagine dignity in its sanctified completeness if one’s freedom to express one’s own preferences is restricted, he continued.
The judge went on to say that it would be against the law to restrict someone’s ability to select their life partner.
As a result, it gave the respondent authorities directions to protect the couple adequately and follow the law. A second directive was given to check the couple’s ages and ensure that the marriage was solemnised in strict accordance with the law.
The Court made it clear that the police must proceed with their investigation in accordance with the law if there is a first information report (FIR) against any of the petitioner(s).
While Government Advocate Insha Rashid represented the State authorities, Lawyer Nadeem Gull appeared on behalf of the petitioners.