‘The liberties that are guaranteed to our citizens, cannot be stretched beyond limits nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families’

‘The liberties that are guaranteed to our citizens, cannot be stretched beyond limits nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families.’
A question: If Liberty is limited to adults doing (in their personal life) what is permitted and acceptable to other people, then what would be denial of liberty? – IHM
A guest post by Locutus83
I want to bring to your notice this recent judgement in Kerala, which goes against all common sense and principles of individual freedom and dignity. In effect this judgment has sanctioned slavery and imprisonment of adult children by their parents.
I don’t understand what it is going to take for parents and society to change their mindsets with regards to adults making their OWN CHOICES in LIFE, and being independent individuals. (Love marriage is just one subset of personal choice).Is it that parents fear loss of control and power over their children (since they never had any power over their own lives)? Or are they too scared of the wagging community tongues “log kya kahenge”? Or is it that most people are still strongly casteist and xenophobic and cannot associate relations with “out of caste” people?
Even though it may be a one-off/fringe judgement, it is saddening since individual freedom and independence is being sacrificed once again at the altar of phony “Indian social values and morals”
Read more about this judgement case here:

“Parents are in all circumstances, not bound to concede absolute decisional autonomy to their children, even if they have attained majority”, rules the Kerala High Court [Read Judgment]

The Kerala High Court went on to hold “Ours is a society which has recognised freedom to every citizen. But then, these changes that we proudly talk about, and the liberties that are guaranteed to our citizens, cannot be stretched beyond limits nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families, which, undoubtedly, concede authority on parents to advise and guide their children. We cannot accept as a general principle that the parents are in all circumstances, bound to concede absolute decisional autonomy to their children, even if they have attained majority and remain helpless even in situations where their wards have taken wrong and immature decisions, which will be disastrous not only to the wards themselves but also to the family itself. Such parental authority, except in cases such as those pointed out by the Chancery Division and approved in Sadanandan’s case, should be out of bounds for a writ court, because it is exercised for the ultimate benefit of the ward. It may be to the dislike of the ward, who may resist it and even turn hostile to the parents. But, such immature reactions should not be allowed to influence our judgment, since the ultimate aim and purpose of all these exercise is the welfare of the ward. This Court therefore should, except in extra ordinary situations, loathe interference in cases where the natural parental authority is exercised to the dislike of a lover or even the ward.” [Link]

Another link – http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/hc-on-parents-rights/article5738845.ece

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Supreme court has made it clear that a girl above 18 can marry or live with anyone of her choice.

The Powers of the Protectors.

Emotion of love and affection compelled the convict. ‘Love not a crime’, says Delhi Court.

26 thoughts on “‘The liberties that are guaranteed to our citizens, cannot be stretched beyond limits nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families’

  1. Just speechless! When the protectors of law and the upholders of individual rights and freedom make such statements…..

    So adult children are the children of a lesser God! Who is to decide whether a decision is mature or immature? Where do people get the idea that age and maturity are necessarily related to each other?

    Very distressing indeed!

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  2. But this is just another example of the law and society refusing to treat women over 18 as adults. In the name of “protecting” them, even well intentioned laws have special protections such as the recent amendments to the divorce code allowing a woman to get a share in the man’s inheritance but not the other way around.

    This is an all or nothing scenario. Either a woman is an adult and has the absolute right to choose her own path even when it’s obvious to everyone else that what she’s doing is wrong…or she’s still a child. The line is sharp and clear. We can’t have it both ways.

    Marriage laws shouldn’t cater to “social realities” – no law should. Laws are the ideals we aspire to. By making them less than perfect, we betray those ideals and cause irreparable damage to our long term viability as a nation.

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  3. What is the whole point of declaring someone an adult when parents still have legally sanctioned control over the choices they make in life? Might as well just call them minors. Now adults in Kerala have the worst of both the worlds. They don’t have control over their decisions, yet they face legal liability for their actions.

    The courts should step away from trying to make the family “happy” and concentrate on enforcing the liberty and consequences that are spelled out in our constitution.

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  4. Shocking. So someone can lock up their adult daughter or son in a room and this is not seen as criminal behavior. A court condoning (no, actually promoting) criminal acts and not standing up for the victim’s rights …… wow. I hope the people of Kerala protest this and the newspapers and TV channels discuss this issue and bring to light the fact the legal fraternity doesn’t understand their role/responsibility at all.

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  5. I am puzzled.
    A judge must decide a case per the existing law.
    He may not like the law personally, That is immaterial.
    Is this his personal opinion, or a judgement?
    I feel this judgement can be appealed against and will be overturned.

    ===========

    I am packing up my laptop tonight.
    I am leaving California on Sunday and returning to Bangalore after a six month stay here.
    i will follow the blog on my cell phone if I am able to get connected through wifi.
    But there will be no more comments for the next few days, till I settle down at Bangalore.
    Bye from me till then.
    Regards
    GV

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  6. Are you friggin kidding ? As if it was not enough that millions of youngsters are driven to depression for choosing their partners, it is now illegal?????

    For someone who is considering moving to India in the next ten years, this scares the hell out of me. Children in the country I live can get emancipated as early as 16 if they want to be adults.

    Now that Me and my husband are trying to have a baby, we are always conscious of the fact that it’s us who is eager to be blessed with a cute angel in our life. And so it is our duty to take care of the life we created. And hope they grow up to be happy and kind people who turn in to decent human beings. Travel the world, settle down and find a partner whom they love and respect. No matter whom they choose.

    But now it scares me how to bring up my future kids as feminists in a country that is clearly going backwards if that is possible!

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  7. “nor can such freedom be made weapons to destroy our fundamental values or social establishments like families, which, undoubtedly, concede authority on parents to advise and guide their children.”

    This should not happen in a secular democracy.

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  8. Pingback: Simbly Bored» Blog Archive » More morality from our courts

  9. I am actually speechless!! My euphoric moments after watching Queen and a few other changes in the country are broken now. Still trying to process this judgement: This judge seems to believe that parents have the authority to prevent their (girl) children from appearing for exams, work etc. I find this outrageous.

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  10. This judgement is a mockery of ‘law’, ‘rights’ and the concept of ‘legal adult’. I think we need to seriously reevaluate our legal system if this is coming from a HC judge in our country. Enough is enough now, really.

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  11. I am reminded of something my mother says wistfully when things in our relationship are at a low, “We shouldn’t have given you so much freedom…”, and this judgements sits with this prevailing notion that parents can and should determine the level of *freedom* for their ward. And the freedom we are talking about here, is one to do with choices. Essentially then, is the court saying that when I vote, which is my legal right and an individual choice, I am legally bound to listen to my parents, if it imperils my life or my parents. And the court suggest that my parents know best i.e., “welfare of the ward” is only the best interest of the parent? Are alcoholic and domestically abusive fathers included in this ambit of “parents”? What is more disheartening is that despite

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  12. God. Takes the concept of `respecting your elders“ to another level!!!
    This is absurd! I thought ADULTS are in control of their own life???? Or is it “once a child, always a child“??

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  13. Why am I not surprised? I may sound cynical here but this is a very prevalent mind-set and not going away any time soon. As long as we have people in authoritative positions hold such regressive thoughts we are not going to see a significant change soon.

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  14. So you’re an adult to fulfill responsibilities such as pay taxes, earn enough to support your family but are not an adult when it comes to your rights? So now that adults are actually not adults, one can commit a crime and expect leniency because they’re actually not an adult? How on earth is this supposed to work?

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    • Oh no. The beauty of it all is that women are supposed to take responsibility for not only their own actions, but also those of the men around them.
      Who’s responsible for wife-beating? Women! They provoke men despite knowing how “fragile” men’s egos are.
      Who’s responsible for rapes? Ahh, umm women! They lead men on despite knowing better.
      Who’s responsible for marital failure? Women of course! It’s a wife’s job to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage going. That includes tolerating physical and sexual abuse.
      We are a culture that places an inordinate amount of responsibility on women and absolutely none on men.

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