In an important observation, the Allahabad High Court has said an adult woman is free to stay with whomsoever she wants and go wherever she likes as the court heard a habeas corpus petition alleging that she was illegally detained.
The court also observed that if two persons professing different religion wish to marry, they can do so under Special Marriage Act without changing one's religion, according to a Live Law report.
Special Marriage Act "is one of the earliest endeavours towards a uniform Civil Code," Justice JJ Munir observed.
He also interacted with the girl who said she wanted to stay with her husband. On this, Justice Munir observed while noting that she is a major: "She is free to stay with whomsoever she wants and go wherever she likes. Since she has indicated her desire to go along with her husband, she is free to do so."
The Allahabad HC observation came amid another order where the court said that conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable.
Justice MC Tripathi made the remark while dismissing a plea by a newly married couple.
The couple had approached the court to direct police and the woman's father not to disturb their marital life. The girl, whose parents are Muslim, converted to Hinduism just a month before her marriage.
In the petition filed by Priyanshi alias Samreen and her partner, it was stated that the couple got married in July this year, but family members of the woman were interfering in their marital life.
"The first petitioner has converted her religion on June 29, 2020 and just after one month, they have solemnised their marriage on July 31, 2020, which clearly reveals to this court that the said conversion has taken place only for the purpose of marriage," the court observed while dismissing the petition.
The court referred to the case of Noor Jahan Begum in which the high court in 2014 held that conversion just for the purpose of marriage was unacceptable.
The petition was rejected by the Allahabad High Court in the case of Noor Jahan Begum praying to provide protection to the married couple as the girl was a Hindu in the case and married after converting to Islam.
In that case, the court had asked, "Whether conversion of religion of a Hindu girl at the instance of a Muslim boy, without any knowledge of Islam or faith and belief in Islam and merely for the purpose of Marriage (Nikah) is valid?"
The court at that time answered the question in negative while relying on teachings of the Quran.