M A I N   N E W S

Supreme Court asks Haryana cops to protect couple
Inter-caste marriage
S.S. Negi
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 7
The Haryana Police was today directed by the Supreme Court to provide adequate protection to a boy and girl from Gurgaon who had defied caste barriers to tie the nuptial knot. They had also defied the diktates of the village panchayat that had declared their marriage illegal.

While asking the Haryana Government counsel to provide protection to Manju belonging to an upper caste and Hari Om from a lower caste of Badshahpur village, a Bench of Mr Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Mr Justice B.P. Singh and Mr Justice S.B. Sinha also sought a status report from the state government as to what action it had taken in the matter.

Manju and Hari Om had claimed to have got married in a temple at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on July 21. Both of them had left their homes as they were sure that their parents and village panchayat would not approve of their marriage.

They further said they had applied for registration of the marriage before the Muzaffarnagar magistrate.

As expected , Manju’s parents got a case of abduction registered against Hari Om and the police brought the girl back and restored to her parents. Her parents fixed her second marriage for August 18.

But she had fled the house of her second husband at the first available opportunity to escape and returned to Hari Om at Muzaffarnagar.

Meanwhile, the village panchayats at Badshahpur (Gurgaon) and Ladhpur (Jhajjar) refused to recognise the marriage and ordered that the girl should be produced before them and sent back to her second husband Pradeep of Ladhpur.

Feeling threatened by the diktates of panchayats, Manju and Hari Om moved the Supreme Court through their counsel Anjani Aiyagari and Goswami O.P. Bharti, who said that the boy and girl were at present at a safe place.

The court had earlier issued notices to the Haryana Government, its DGP, police officers concerned dealing with the case, and the President of Ladhpur panchayat.

The Haryana Government counsel, however, informed the court that the state police had not been approached by them for protection so far. He gave an undertaking to the court that necessary protection would be provided to them, if they approached the police.

Counsel for the couple said the Ladhpur Panchayat had again held a meeting on December 3 and directed that the girl be produced before it, which the counsel for the panchayat denied.

The court warned that anyone defying its order in the case would face the consequences and advised the counsel for the boy and the girl not to take the things too far.

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