Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

Karnataka High Court thinks marriage of an adult female below 21  should be declared null and void unless it has her parents’ approval. Please note, they did not suggest raising the age of marriage to 21 in Arranged Marriages, only in Choice Marriages. (Generally called Love Marriages).

Why this news bothers me,

1. Indians parents are known to force their daughters to Get Married and Stay married (or die trying).

2. Arranging marriages for daughters is seen as a challenging task and Indian parents need laws to stop them from aborting daughters to avoid these challenges.

3. Indian parents frequently choose creating a good impression on their neighbors over their children’s happiness.

4. And now we know that India is the most dangerous country for a girl child because of the above reasons (and related issues).

Read what Karnataka High Court has to say about choice marriages, when women are younger than 21 years of age. (Link shared by Nish Sivakumar, thanks Nish!)

“In the past one-and-a-half months, in six cases, the high court of Karnataka has asked girls who are over 18 but less than 21 years of age to return to their parents’ home, after being ‘married’.

The legally permissible age for marriage for women, under the Constitution, is 18 years.

Girls over 18 years but less than 21 years of age were produced in court, and told to go with their parents. Evidence of marriage—photographs showing the exchange of garlands and tying of the marital knot — have not helped.

In all these cases, the judgment cited was issued in the high court on May 12, 2011: “We have seen many cases of run-away love marriages and untold misery and hardship of the parents and the girls. All the love marriages are not successful. In the event of failure of the love marriage of the girl, it is the girl and her parents who have to suffer…The girls, later on, realise their mistake that they were hasty in love marriage and repent at leisure. (sic)” [Link]

Please read at the bottom of this post how Indian parents deal with any problems in marriages that they arrange for their daughters.

The Karnataka High Court has proposed that the law be amended to allow arranged marriage for girls at 18 and love marriage only at 21. A division bench of the High Court was of the view that girls should not be allowed to choose their partners on their own till they turn 21.

The Khaps would love this. Watch them say almost exactly the same thing in ‘Izzatnagar ki Asabhya Betiyan’,  a documentary by Nakul S Sawhney. Trailer here.

“In our opinion, the girls below the age of 21 years are not capable of forming a rational judgment as to the suitability of the boy, with whom they are in love. It is relevant to mention that those girls, who are suffering from hormonal imbalance easily fall prey to the boys and fall in love, marry and repent at leisure,” the judges said in an order…

Hormonal imbalance was why Khaps said they were against Choice Marriages. Please note, the same girls can be held responsible for everything else that happens to them.

‘Justice K Bhakthavatsala and Justice K Govindarajulu stressed that the Parliament had not taken into account love marriages when the Bill was introduced. “Since the Hindu Marriage Act does not deal with love marriages, in our view, it is high time that the Parliament take note of the sufferings of such girls and their parents and amend the law suitably,” the judges said.

They suggested that run-away marriages of girls under 21 be declared void or voidable.”‘  [link]

Please read on,

…The court further observed that… “Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage,” the Bench said.

To see how average Indian parents ‘bear the brunt of  an unsuccessful marriage’ they have arranged, please check the list at the bottom of this post.

Don’t you think it would be more practical to encourage young women to be self reliant?

🙄

“Terming as void Avinash’s marriage with the girl without her parents’ consent, the court levied a cost of Rs 10,000 on him. “The court cannot shut its eyes even when police fail to initiate action,” the Bench said. On the petitioner’s contention of illegal detention, the court said, “Parents keeping the child with them does not amount to illegal detention.”The girl’s parents had lodged a complaint of kidnapping on February 7, 2011, with the Wilson Garden Police after their minor daughter, a second PU student, went missing on February 2 while on her way to college. Avinash had taken her to Krishnagiri where he married her on March 3, 2011, after she turned 18 on March 1. On returning to Bangalore on March 28, he appeared before the police, who brokered peace between the two families by ensuring that the boy got to meet the girl twice a day and appeared before the police daily. However, when the girl’s parents refused to abide by the deal and denied him permission to meet his wife, he filed a habeas corpus plea. When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the Bench lashed out at the petitioner saying, “This is (the marriage) nothing but a case of kidnapping. If the marriage fails, the girl will return to her parents who are the actual sufferers.” The Bench said that parents protecting their child was not illegal detention. “The Hindu Marriage Act is not a contract. It needs permission from parents. (Avinash’s case) is nothing but misuse of the girl and her age,” the court said.Stating that it would take a decision in the interest of the people, the court observed orally, “If it was love, you should wait. Why should you elope? He (boy) will not carry the sin. The girls are the sufferers.” Taking the police to task, the court said, “Police don’t behave like human beings. You cannot decide on such matters. Who are you to decide? You are just adding fuel to fire.” When counsel for the respondents K N Puttegowda submitted that it was the third love affair for the boy, the Bench asked Avinash: “Why did you go to Tamil Nadu? To see tsunami? This kind of people should be hanged.”The court dismissed the matter and directed the Wilson Garden Police to take Avinash into custody immediately.” [link]
The same news is reported a little differently here but the basic point about approval of parents needed for love marriages before a girl turns 21 remains.

“The father of the girl lodged a missing person complaint, and Avinash, in a bid to have his ‘wife’ returned to him, had filed another complaint.

However, in that case, Avinash had not turned 21 at the time of the marriage, so had not attained the age when a man could legally wed. Sanghavi too had not turned 18, when a woman is allowed to marry legally.”

If they were not of legal ages, and if that was given as a reason for marriage being declared null and void, it would make sense. But this is not what is reported.

“Delivering a judgment in this case, on May 12, the judges ruled, “In our opinion, the girls below the age of 21 years are not capable of forming a rational judgment…”

Another  link here.

Updated to add: And this is a law student’s reaction on her blog -http://aneeshamathur.blogspot.in/2011/06/girls-shouldnt-be-allowed-to-have-love.html

And this is how average Indian parents bear the brunt of unsuccessful marriages, they have arranged for their daughters. Andwhy I don’t think parents always make better judgements.


When a daughter refuses to go back…

Overheard at a Beauty Parlour…

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

If someone dislocated your jaw…

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband?

An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”

An email: Can a woman be married off with a promise to the in laws, that her father would find a job for her?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?

What the Supreme Court has said in the past:

The powers of the protectors.

Marry Or Live With Anyone Of Your Choice.

106 thoughts on “Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

  1. From the looks of it, Karnataka seems to be an independent country with its own constitution.

    Avinash: “Why did you go to Tamil Nadu? To see tsunami? This kind of people should be hanged.” –

    WTF! Rakhi Sawant ka Insaaf might have more class and logic than this….

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  2. So now they think they can discriminate based on how people get married? Soon arranged marriages will get extra tax refunds while love marriages will have to pay a fine for discomforting their parents?

    When we turn into adults, anyone detaining us against our will can and should be termed as kidnapping. Parents do not always have the best interests of children at heart. Like the court itself said, they are too busy making sure they don’t bear the “brunt” of their kids love marriages instead of worrying about if the kids are happy.

    18 year olds may be filled with hormones and may make rash decisions. But being a free person also means the freedom to make mistakes. And then, lets give a though to why 18 year olds probably interacting with the opposite sex for the first time in their lives decide to elope and marry instead of waiting till they are more settled in their lives. If interaction with the opposite sex was considered normal, the court would have much less cases like these to deal with in the first place.

    And lastly, courts are there to uphold the law, not to pass moral judgements on personal decisions. It is a disgrace that such an educated judge in an influential position chooses to give sermons and condones kidnapping.

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  3. Ok. . so, “immature” ppl should not be allowed to “choose” to live together cos that would lead to suffering? So if a 19yr old “immature” girl marries her “immature” lover without parental ‘permission’ and has a child, then the marriage is void and the child is left bereft of even the “immature” parents? Wow!

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  4. hormones…I mean did they really say ‘hormones’!!! I cant believe this at all!!

    So basically the court is trying to say that ‘at 18, your hormones govern your brains’ and then at 21 ‘you get maturity to decide because your brains govern your hormones!!!’

    Three years and SO MUCH IMPROVEMENT!!!!!

    I give up..totally give up!

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    • Wow, somebody seems to have studied Biology under Sarah Palin!🙂

      What next? That women below 21 may not drive cars, because they are ruled by hormones?

      Also, how come boys don’t drown in all those sex hormones but girls do? A big, fat angry WTF!!

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  5. ‘Moral Policing’verdicts and comments by the Courts in India is nothing new, but this is absurd to say the least, Then why you have a legal permissible age for marriage at 18? What about males choosing their mates before 21? If males are allowed and females not, what is the ‘hormonal’ rationale for such a difference? Is the stigma on women if the marriage fail is the issue ? Then such laws will give more legitimacy to feudal notions of stigma instead of trying to reduce it.

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  6. Sounds like a few others have had the reaction I did with the ‘hormones’ argument! Are they for real??? I can understand if they were trying to say both men and women do not necessarily have a fully developed prefrontal cortex at age 18 and hence cannot make decisions…but then that would mean not just changing the marriage act but rights to voting, driving or any other thing involving both men and women under 21 to make decisions! I still can’t believe they said hormones!!! This is just pathetic. We are supposed to be moving forward in the world and yet every time you hear the manner in which the courts in India are dealing with things, you’d be forgiven for thinking they live in the Dark ages!

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  7. One reason for such attitudes among Judiciary is the influence of Religious and spiritual Organisations, Also lack of genuine liberal/feminist movements in Law Colleges contribute to this illiteracy. May be they should all read this blog to get a more modem view of life.

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  8. Parents are actual sufferers? o.O What about the girl whose adult decisions on her own life has been thrown by the wayside by the upholders of law of this country? What about the guy whose only fault was loving an adult person and wishing to marry her? What about the rest of us who are watching this drama with the painful realization that democracy in this country is a hypocrisy in the hands of such so called “judges”?

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    • Basically here’s what they are trying to tell young women:

      1) You do not have the power to choose your own mate because your female brain is incapable of making rational judgements.

      2) However, the very same female brain works just fine in an arranged marriage.
      It is even capable of taking on the complex challenge of motherhood if required.

      3) You are not an individual in your own right and have no civil liberties and constitutional rights, because you have HORMONES!

      4) You are the custodian and symbol of your family’s honor and therefore, your life must be controlled by your parents.

      5) If the marriage is an arranged one, your HORMONES will not be a barrier. Even when you deal with complex challenges like marital sex, birth control, money, hostile in-laws, childbirth and childcare, harrassment in the marital home vagera, vagera.

      6) Your HORMONES are only an impediment if you choose your own partner and your parents disapprove.

      7) If you commit murder, fraud or otherwise violate any law, your HORMONES will not provide you legal immunity.
      You will be tried as a adult in charge of all her faculties.

      8) Men your own age do not suffer from this hormonal onslaught, only you do. You are FEMALE, you see!

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  9. I am more fuming at the tsunami comment. It was totally unprofessional, as indeed the entire judgement seems to be. I just posted a rant on Facebook. Posting it below.

    Democracy? Hypocrisy? It seems democracy is for everyone in this country but young girls.

    “Why did you go to Tamil Nadu? To see tsunami? This kind of people should be hanged.” – I wonder if some people should be barred for talking to a voting, adult, law-abiding citizen of this country in such a manner.

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  10. Let me guess this straight:

    So hormones apply only to girls and not to guys??
    And 21 is the magical age where girls miraculously transform into mature adults?
    Like Aditya said, Karnataka seems to be an independent country in itself?
    So if the parents themselves decide to marry the girl off before she becomes 21 then it’s fine – even if the guy turns out to be an wife-beating, abusive drunkard? 😯🙄😛
    I am somewhere between shock, disbelief, outrage, disgust and goodness knows what else.

    And they have the nerve to say India is progressing???😡 Phooey!!!😛

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  11. There’s a physical maturity age and then there’s psychological.

    When the case came up, the girl may not have defended the marriage strongly leading to her husband’s arrest..

    But most important how respondent argued on the circumstances leading to elopement, Law agencies perceive heady cocktail of teenage love and elopement = trafficking

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    • //When the case came up, the girl may not have defended the marriage strongly leading to her husband’s arrest..//

      Then maybe she should have been told she had the option of seeking a legal divorce? How can a marriage be declared null and void?

      //There’s a physical maturity age and then there’s psychological. //
      If a woman is not seen as matured enough to marry before 21 – then giving her parents the power to arrange her marriage endangers her welfare, parents can and do make mistakes all the time, and women and young girls are dying everyday because of these mistakes by their parents.
      How would an ‘immature’ girl know her parents have made a good choice for her?

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      • At first I was going to say there seems to be some misreporting. Having seen quite a few intelligent judges, I was quite unable to digest this order. The only legal point in the whole case is that she left home while she was still a minor. That was the only point the court could have objected to legally.

        However I wonder if the boy’s past (apart from the alleged 3 love affairs) had anything to do with the court’s apathy. Did he have a so-called unreliable reputation in terms of financial or social standing?

        Even so, I object to the use of the word ‘sin’. Till it is ‘sin’ for a woman to be hormonal or sexually aware, nothing can be improved. Also since the law provides for marriage of girls at 18, I wonder if this judgement goes against the law. Can any law graduate find out if this is challengeable?

        Also I agree with someone else that the girl might not have defended the guy well in court. But how could she? Her parents had kept her captive for so long, who knows what brainwashing occurred? Why are we so obsessed with marriages as a society? Beats me.

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    • Why don’t they go after the real traffickers who smuggle thousands of trafficked women into India and force them into prostitution?

      The gang rape clip that those three former BJP ministers were watching probably had one such trafficked woman being gang-raped.

      Why don’t they go after those three MLAs if they want to flex their judicial muscles a little?

      Me – Terrific questions BIW!

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      • Arun they are citing this one judgment as a precedent to separate other legally married couples, adult married women are being ‘sent back’ to their parents. This when Supreme Court has said two (uncommitted elsewhere) adults can live with each other – married or not.

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        • IHM, then I think we should persuade some Women’s organisation (liberal not spiritual ones) to go in appeal to SC. Prasanth Bhushan can be asked to represent us.

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  12. I cannot understand this whole concept of being old enough to get married, but not old enough to decide for oneself. If a person is so full of hormones and prone to undesirable behaviors, then surely they should not be allowed to get married at all. Unless if course, this whole thing is to ensure that parents can safely marry their daughters off, before they are eligible to marry on their own.

    What silliness! It is so annoying when our judiciary comes out with nonsense like this!

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  13. It is an outrageous travesty of justice. How can a judge so blatantly allow his personal views and prejudices to cloud his judgement and so casually let down the laws he has sworn to uphold?

    And for heaven’s sake, hormonal imbalance? He means all girls suffer from hormonal imbalance at eighteen, which resolves itself miraculously at twenty -one? Guess he has more than a few things to teach the medical community.

    /Police don’t behave like human beings. You cannot decide on such matters. Who are you to decide? You are just adding fuel to fire.”/ Yeah right, and our honourable judge is only trying to quell the fire.

    And it is not like he is not aware that his judgement does not follow the law in either letter or spirit–he admits as much when he requests the parliament to “take note of the sufferings of such girls and their parents and amend the law suitably.”

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  14. IHM: I have been reading your blog for quite sometime…and I am just curious….I have seen you talking about your mom many times but to my knowledge not even once about your inlaws. Can you let us know if your inlaws are feminists too and tell us a bit about your relationship with inlaws na !!! Thanks…..

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  15. Absurd….

    I am more disturbed by the implication of this kind of ruling. And what does the Court mean by “If the marriage fails, the girl will return to her parents who are the actual sufferers.”? The actual sufferers would be the husband and wife who actually go through the pain and not their parents who are mainly concerned about how to save their face in society.

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  16. I am left speechless! For a HIGH COURT bench To declare marriages of choice illegal for young women under 21! Khap Panchayats – you have found your long lost twin!

    Oh, those raging hormones. And of course they apply only to women under the age of 21. And between the age of 18 and 21, they magically subside. In all this nonsense, no discussion about the raging hormones of the men in question.

    And apparently a woman under 21 is not mature enough to choose who to marry, but is mature enough to make all the adjustments and changes required if she marries a guy of her parents choosing. How logical!

    When even the courts don’t respect the decisions of adult women in this country, what hope do we have left?

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  17. There’s another gem I read in The Tribune today. It reminded me of ‘my husband is my leader/king’ comments that we saw in some previous posts and I thought I should share it here. It was an reader’s letter in letters to the editor section, titled Marital Wisdom. Here the letter:

    Among today’s youth, marital relations are found to be constrained in most of the cases which is hindering family peace. Sometimes, the elders of the family are either ignorant or intentionally ignore the strained relations between their son and daughter-in-law in the hope of an improvement with the passage of time.

    But if there is no bonhomie between the two, it does not remain a secret for long. If the female partner with her ingenuity works to normalise the relations, it is wonderful. Otherwise, there is no solution.

    In educated employed couples, particularly, the supremacy of the wife over her husband is the main hindrance in family life. No doubt, both are equal partners, but there should be one leader. In arranged marriages, caution should be taken while selecting a match.

    It would also pay rich dividends if the girl’s parents mentally reconcile to a no-interference policy in the decisions of the couple or the in-laws. In actual practice, most of the dowry cases are fabricated by over-ambitious girls, which serve as an exit route for them having legal force. Severing marital ties is not the solution, at least in India. Let us learn to respect each other’s feelings,consider one as the leader and the other partner should walk along without pointing out the weaknesses. Let all decisions be discussed as it happens in a Cabinet meeting. Senior citizens of the family should also be involved in taking decisions. Let the day start with a warm ‘namaskar’ to them.

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    • Found it here, thanks Say Cheese!
      http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120202/letters.htm

      For those who missed Shravana Kumar, here’s a bit of what he said,
      Marital wisdom

      Among today’s youth, marital relations are found to be constrained in most of the cases which is hindering family peace. Sometimes, the elders of the family are either ignorant or intentionally ignore the strained relations between their son and daughter-in-law in the hope of an improvement with the passage of time.

      But if there is no bonhomie between the two, it does not remain a secret for long. If the female partner with her ingenuity works to normalise the relations, it is wonderful. Otherwise, there is no solution.

      In educated employed couples, particularly, the supremacy of the wife over her husband is the main hindrance in family life. No doubt, both are equal partners, but there should be one leader. In arranged marriages, caution should be taken while selecting a match.

      It would also pay rich dividends if the girl’s parents mentally reconcile to a no-interference policy in the decisions of the couple or the in-laws.

      Me – ‘decisions of couples and the in-laws’

      Please note interference by the other set of parents which actually causes most divorces is not seen as interference.

      In actual practice, most of the dowry cases are fabricated by over-ambitious girls, which serve as an exit route for them having legal force. Severing marital ties is not the solution, at least in India. Let us learn to respect each other’s feelings, consider one as the leader and the other partner should walk along without pointing out the weaknesses. Let all decisions be discussed as it happens in a Cabinet meeting. Senior citizens of the family should also be involved in taking decisions. Let the day start with a warm ‘namaskar’ to them.

      Me: Please note, ‘Senior citizens of the family should also be involved’ is only meant for the husband’s parents, because the wife’s parents have been advised not to interfere.

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      • I had to wait for a couple of hours for the red rage that shrouded my vision to subside before I could comment here.

        There are SUCH ridiculous points in this letter, I dont know where to begin.

        But for me this was the gem – dowry cases are fabricated by over -ambitious girls. So the bride who was burnt to a crisp for dowry was what, telling a white lie?

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  18. What is it with people in this country who feel they have a right to pass judgement on every ‘aati jaati ladki’. This Very Knowledgeable Gentlemen Judge is basically saying 18=ok to be married but 18 ≠ capable of choosing for self. So what he means is, its ok for 18 yr olds to be treated as glorified broodmares to bring forth the next generation of ghar ka chirags but only as long as its been sanctioned by her parents.

    It never fails to amaze me the myriad ways that Indians manage to convey their belief that women are nothing more than cattle to them.

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  19. This is just ridiculous. While I can’t speak for the whole world I can say that EVERY love marriage I have seen, whether the wife be a gori or an Indian (where the husband is Indian), there have been good relationships between the MIL and the DIL. FIL’s are not usually as big of an issue when it comes to accepting the DIL into the family from what I’ve seen as well. I know 6 Indian women who married into love marriages and their in-laws love them and they get along really well. There is no perfect relationship and of course there will be tensions but they get along enough to live in the same house and have very little tension in the home. None related to them thinking she’s not acceptable. I also know several gori women, more than I can count, who are accepted by their in-laws and are treated fairly well (I am one of them). These women have small dramas and tension with their MIL’s and several of them live in joint family homes (I again am one of those). This doesn’t happen in all love marriages obviously but I’ve seen it happen many times and so it stands to reason that the courts should not oppose love marriages. Not all parents know best and unfortunately we all know how abusive, manipulative and downright cruel Indian parents can be so their judgment should not always be put first. This is not a matter for the courts to decide in either case.

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  20. This is a test.
    Am reading your blog and commenting sitting in my car while I wait for my wife to finish her shopping.
    I am typing this on my new Samsung Galaxy Note.
    This is my first blog comment using this new device.
    I will comment again later tonight.
    Regards
    GV

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  21. “those girls, who are suffering from hormonal imbalance easily fall prey to the boys and fall in love, marry and repent at leisure” – haha!! This is the argument of the type “Africans used to be slaves because they have a lesser mental capability to fight and become successful”.

    In both cases, those who create such claims are wrong.

    After reading this type of a story I stop and think for a while how happy I am to be born in a place of this world where the word ‘misogynist’ is a curse on a person, not a praise, and where being under-educated does not work as an excuse for talking crap in public without harsh consequences.

    What is the most funny part here – the same people who preach how love marriages “always” fail, turn to a horoscope before “matching” two people.

    I could easily substitute this with flipping a coin, or a ritual dance over the fire with throwing animal bones and reading their shadows. Or perhaps go to Vegas and gamble which of the “available” guys will make the best match.

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  22. Sometimes i wish i come head to head with one of them for a debate.

    Nothinng can be done, till the girls themselves stand up and give the parents a piece of their mind. we should love nad respect our parents but sometimes we also need ot EDUCATE them..

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  23. I share the young lawyer’s reaction – SHOCK. I’m appalled that a court of LAW – that too a High Court no less can utter such things. The judicial system hasn’t quite been the beacon of hope in the past few months that I thought it was.

    Thankfully none of this from the SC itself…

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  24. The fact is that most of us consider this just an entertaining piece of news and laugh at it. Thank you IHM for changing that perspective. The “it-doesnt-matter-to-me-because-it-cant-happen-to-me” attitude needs regular eye openers of this sort.

    Enraged, I fear writing about this coz of the profanity I will end up tying.

    Once again Thank You

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  25. fantastic – so just raise the legal age to 21 or 23 or 24. This way I am worried that most parents will surely get their daughter married off before they turn 21 for the fear of them “running away”. And to play devil’s advocate who says a 21 year old will make the right decision !

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  26. Now courts have to tell the hormones so they know when to flow. Because an arranged marriage at 18 has no hormones…sad, sad relationship that will be…but a choice marriage’s stinky hormones we don’t want in our society even at 21!

    You know – this is why mindset change is so critical. They are from the same society that views children as possessions and women as sub-humans. On one hand a son has to support and take care and on the other, a daughter has to be guarded until her hormones flow legally. Two sides of the patriarchy coin. Works for no-one in the long run.

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  27. Commentators have said it all. If this is the attitude parents have towards their girls, it is better that girls stop depending on them for anything and stand on their feet as soon as possible. Girls should take control of their lives and not let anyone else decide anything for them. If things go wrong, they should not seek help from such parents. It is better that the girl makes mistakes and handles it herself rather than parents making mistakes for the girl and then letting her handle it alone.

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  28. One way out for young couples would me to marry via the special marriage act. That is usually harder to challenge.

    Another long term fix is to bring the minimum marriage-age for men to 18. It doesn’t make sense to have it at 21 for men and 18 for women, as this drives in the wrong notion that the husband should always be older.

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  29. A bungled, illogical and very probably blatantly unconstitutional judgement. I am not sure what case law says here but I don’t believe that the court has the power to tell private citizens, who have not committed any offense at all, to live at a place of the judge’s choosing, just because the judge thinks that is the best option. The legal age for marriage in India is 18 for women. Whether or not the law was “intended” to include love marriages is immaterial, because the law itself does NOT discriminate. While higher courts are granted some limited latitude to interpret the constitution, they are certainly not allowed to make judgements based on what they think the law should’ve been like!

    And legal matters aside, I am shocked and dismayed on a personal level. The judiciary is supposed to protect people, protect those who cannot protect themselves, protect the oppressed, protect all citizens of this broad land. We look up to what our judges say. We trust our judges to uphold the spirit and idea of our Republic, flawed as it may be, even when our own elected representatives fail to do so. They are as much role models as they are watch dogs. How could they betray that trust in this manner? How could they give legitimacy to such medieval, feudalistic ideas? Do they not realize that a few words from them can cause immense harm to a person’s life? Do they not realize that words such as these can only embolden those vile, self-appointed, unsolicited, unwanted and deeply unpleasant “protectors” of female honor? For these words do certainly embolden them. Embolden the sections of our society which wage war against female personal liberty till the sun rises in the window, the ones which would have women treated as donkeys carrying a country’s honor on their backs, the ones which would have women regressed to mere children subject to the patriarchal authority of fathers and husbands, the ones which cannot tolerate the idea of a free, independent person who happens to possess two X chromosomes, the ones which see women as a lower form of life, the ones which claim to worship and honor the sacred feminine and yet assert ownership over “their” women, the ones which are hypocrites of the worst kind, the ones which do not turn a hair while making life a living hell for their own daughters, wives and sisters who they claim to respect so much.

    Men and women over 18 years of age are ADULTS. It is not permissible for the State to act as a nanny to adults. It is not permissible to deny them freedom of movement. It is not permissible to deny them the legitimate use of their own rights and liberties as citizens of this nation, even if the state indeed has their best interests at heart. Whether or not the marriage was successful is irrelevant. Whether or not it was made on rational grounds is irrelevant. Whether or not the protagonists are crazed by hormones is irrelevant. Whether or not it is pure physical attraction that pushes them into marital union is irrelevant. Whether or not their parents approve is irrelevant. Whether or not the neighbors approve is irrelevant. Whether or not society approves is irrelevant. Whether or not the judge approves is irrelevant. Whether or not it is a poor decision is irrelevant.

    Let adults be free in the true sense, and let women be adults too. Let adults make mistakes. Let people be entitled to make mistakes. Let the state be more mature than it is now.

    I am saddened and at a loss for a coherent response.

    Like

    • PT, Judges are part of the system. Many a time they are the most conservative members of the society. So I am not surprised, We need a strong liberal feminist/humanist movement to safe guard our Constitutional rights.Our Constitution is the off spring of our liberal progressive freedom movement and that is our biggest strength.

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  30. Arun,
    Laws against criminal contempt of court are usually only enforced against litigants and third parties who abet the litigants in the offense.

    Disinterested observers do not usually come under the purview of the law. I am not aware of the case you mention, but if the politician was not involved in the case at all, his criticisms must have been exceptionally slanderous to have attracted what is in fact about the highest penalty for criminal contempt of court in Indian law.

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  31. I’d totally agree with the judge if he could provide an answer to the following questions.
    1) What happens or who is to blame for a marriage failing inspite of being decided by parents in all their infinite wisdom? Eg abandonment of the bride, abuse or even god forbid if the groom dies. Is it okay for the parents to bear the brunt in cases like these because it was they who made the mistake?

    2) More importantly, do I need my parents permission to vote too now. If I can decide the fate of a billion people at the age of 18, then why don’t I have the right to decide whats best for me.

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  32. So the court is saying, you can choose who governs your country at the age of 18 but not the person with whom you want live the rest of your life! That means, you can play with country’s future and let it go to dogs but you have no control on your own life! Brilliant! Such people should be given special awards!

    Like

    • “So the court is saying, you can choose who governs your country at the age of 18 but not the person with whom you want live the rest of your life! ”

      Sadly, for Indian men, that is the law. Can vote at 18, can join the army, can consume alcohol, but cannot legally marry.

      Like

  33. IHM.. The more I read this post, the more it is disheartening.. there are so many girls who fight for their independent thinking .. either for marriage or clothes or career – just anything that they have to make a choice for. The judgement hits hard taking this choice away. For girls below 21 this is a nightmare. Several additional rules can be added. What is this number 21 anyway? The court might as well say 25, 30?
    Law is supposed to take out the personal bias out of a decision and uphold the constitution. Clearly, it seems the judges might have had personal incidents that drove them to such a conclusion. A system like in the US where there is a jury of members who decide what is right/wrong might have done better.

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  34. Pingback: Of Adarsh Bhartiya Purush on the International Women’s Day. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. Bulandshahr: A minor girl in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh lodged a complaint with the police today accusing her father of trying to sell her and her younger sister.

    Jyoti, 15, from Jakhaita village near Bulandshahr in her complaint stated that her father Pancham allegedly tried to sell her and younger sister Poonam, 14, to two men for Rs. 80,000, SSP Gulab Singh said.

    However, villagers intervened when Pancham recently tried using force to allegedly sell his daughters, Mr Singh said, adding protection has been provided to the two girls and a case registered against their father.

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/girl-lodges-fir-against-father-for-trying-to-sell-her-sister-195558?pfrom=home-lateststories

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  36. Pingback: Who benefits from criminalizing consensual teenage sex? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  37. Pingback: Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  38. Pingback: “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. Pingback: Family court matters taken away from Justice Bhakthavatsala | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. Pingback: “Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. Pingback: What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  42. Pingback: Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  43. It’s so interesting to read all this about how far women’s rights and protections have to go in India, it feels difficult enough in the US. I have just recently realized that Indian blogs are written in English and it’s an exciting resource. Thanks!

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  44. Pingback: BJP and Trinamool are objecting to a lower age of consent on the ground that this is in conflict with “conservative norms” of Indian society. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  45. Pingback: “His parents had already found a girl from his community who they feel is ‘perfect’ for him.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  46. Pingback: “Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  47. Its a new law i hard but one way Our Indian court say that Above 18 years girl live or marry anyone of there choices and another way Indian court of Tamil Nadu says that above 21 years girl marry of there choices why so 2 way thought, This is One India one Law why so confusion …….WE R LIVING IN ONE INDIA
    PLS share this link to all u know everything
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-05-22/india/28205996_1_police-probe-inter-religious-marriage-girl

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  48. Pingback: “I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  49. Pingback: What kind of grooms, do you think, do honor killing, violent parents want their daughters to wed? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  50. Pingback: “One of the so-called best professor of my department … advices his students (girls) that men can be satisfied only by two things…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  51. Pingback: Inter Religious marriages. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  52. Pingback: “I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  53. Pingback: Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  54. Pingback: So we criticise Comedy Nights with Kapil. And we criticise political leaders who make misogynistic statements. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  55. I’m 1994 Dec n my lover is 1993 July
    Can we both register our marriage? Can sum1 pls give me the right answer. Eagerly waiting for replies

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  56. Pingback: “According to my mom, friendship with guys should always be limited to academics, nothing personal.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  57. I feel saying that parents want to save their face from society is eggageration and is case to case basis. Ensuring a good partner for their son or daughter is one of the many responsibilities parents try to achieve. The court is not wrong in expressing concern over cases where the boy used his skill and experience to bully a girl who is just a teen. Law has to secure parents cause in penalizing such individuals and aiding the law enforcement machinery to investigate such fraudsters plans and activities. If the love or marriage was based on fraud and the fraudsters has emotionally managed to proclaim his love of a teenager then law and judiciary should such parents to dissuade and stop this menace to some extent.

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  58. How can anyone give a age limit of 18 for arrange marriage and for love it should b 21 … Can anyone think that if a girl love someone and her parents doesn’t like that then they can force a girl to marry just in 18 and by this they will not even destroy the life of a girl but of that another boy to …to whome she got marry it should b clear that arrange or love the age limit should b same it can b 18 or 21 no issue if should n same in both conditions

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    • 1.The age for marrying should be same for men and women.
      2. Forced marriages should be strictly forbidden.
      3.We should campaign for everybody earning and living on their own for one year before they marry.

      Like

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