On October 14, 2020, petitioner No. 1 in this matter, Ms. Laxmibai Chandaragi, disappeared from her residence. When she went missing, her father reported her as missing in a First Information Report (FIR). Parents’ and relatives’ statements were recorded by the investigating officer. Santosh Singh Yadav, petitioner number 2, was identified by information found in the call logs of the missing woman during the investigation. On October 15, 2020, the woman and the man got married, and she sent her marriage certificate to her parents over WhatsApp. The man’s parent leave in Ghaziabad, therefore the investigating officer went there. When the IO went to see the parents, they said they didn’t know where the couple was. After making contact with the ladies, the investigating officer requested the petitioner1to give statement at the Murgod Police Station, which was close to her home. She was afraid of her parents, the woman refused to go back to Karnataka. The investigating officer refused to close the case and threatened the pair with filing a bogus case of kidnapping against the guy and a charge of theft against the woman so that she could go back home. Petitioner No. 1 had been hired as a Lecturer at the Karnataka Lingayat Education Society Pre-University College in Bailhongal, while Petitioner No. 2 had been hired as an Assistant Professor at the Jain College of Engineering in Belagavi, Karnataka. Both petitioners were educated, met at work, and fell in love. After the investigation by the officer the couple appeared before the Allahabad High Court on October 19, 2020, but their case was not heard despite their plea that it be placed on the list of urgent hearings. At last, the couple approached the Supreme Court of India.
- Whether the FIR should be dismissed given that both parties were willing to be married and did so with their consent.
The petitioners asserted that petitioner 1 was subject to dual jurisdiction since she shared a residence with Petitioner No. 2 in Uttar Pradesh while being a resident of Karnataka when they filed their petition before the Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. They claimed that their uncle was threatening them. They also requested protection from the Allahabad High Court, but despite repeated requests for a prompt hearing over the course of a month, the petition was unable to be delivered to the board. FIR filed at Murgod Police Station, Belagavi District, Karnataka are quashed in the petitioners’ hopes that the parents of petitioner No. 1 will have to accept the marriage and resume social interaction with petitioner No. 2. The petitioners have filed the current petition, so there is really no need for any additional statement to be recorded. The marriage certificate of Petitioner No. 1 and her conversation with the IO, where she claimed that she was not missing but rather was residing with her husband and talked about her safety in travelling back to her hometown to record her statement, were considered by the Court to be conclusive evidence of the issue’s credibility. The officer can take the statement anywhere the subject feels safe and secure, without exerting pressure by compelling them to accompany them to the specified police station.
COURT’S VIEW ON IO’S APPROACH TOWARDS THE CASE
If the IO had handled the complaint more responsibly and if he truly wanted to record the statement of the petitioner No.1, he should have informed her that he would visit her and record the statement rather than threatening to take action against petitioner No.2 unless she appeared at the police station. In the circumstances of the case, this Court’s intervention would not have been necessary. The police authorities should devise a training curriculum to handle such issues for the benefit of the police officers in addition to providing advice to the current IOs. Within the next eight weeks, we anticipate the police administration taking action to establish certain rules and training programmes on how to handle such delicate societal issues.
SUPREME COURT’S VIEW
Our position is strengthened by past court rulings that made it apparent that the agreement of the family, the community, or the clan is not required once two adults agree to get married and that their consent must be given reverent precedence.1 In that regard, it was further noted that a person’s freedom of choice is an essential component of their dignity because dignity cannot be considered in situations where freedom of choice is being eroded. It is not expected for such a right or choice to be compromised by the ideas of “class honour” or “group thinking.”
- Shafin Jahan V. Asokan KM & Ors
In this above mentioned case court observed that society was undergoing a significant period of transformation. Marriage-related intimacies fall under a core privacy zone that is inviolable and even considerations of faith would have no bearing on them. According to the Indian Constitution’s Article 21, it is a fundamental right to marry the person of one’s choice.
- Shakti Vahini V. Union of India 
It has been ruled that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution includes the freedom to marry whoever one chooses. The decision of the nine judges on this case’s bench is relevant in this regard.
- Asha Ranjan V. State of Bihar, Lata Singh V. State of U.P and K.S Puttaswamy V. Union of India these cases may also be used to describe situations when, among other things, family and marriage autonomy of an individual was believed to be essential to that person’s dignity.
DEFECTS OF LAW
The manner the investigation was handled was discrediting to the police department as a whole and to the IO specifically. Petitioner No. 1 stated that she was apprehensive to visit the police station because she felt scared by the actions of her family and that she was married to Petitioner No. 2 as shown by her marriage certificate. The Honourable Supreme Court reprimanded the investigating officer and mandated that he get counselling to help him cope with circumstances like these in the future. The Court’s critical views on the way investigations are carried out are made clear by the high bar this sets for other IOs handling related cases. Given that the IO had already spoken with petitioner No. 1 and that he had already received the marriage certificate, which clearly stated that she was married to petitioner No. 2, and that she felt threatened and uneasy about going to the police station, the aforementioned does not reflect well on the police authorities or the IO. Instead of requiring and summoning for the petitioners to appear at the local police station in Karnataka, the IO might have very well recorded the statement of petitioner No. 1 at the petitioners’ residence if he had been able to visit the residence of petitioner No. 2. Furthermore, he undoubtedly attempted to persuade Petitioner No. 1 to attend the police station and give a statement under threat of her parents filing a false complaint against Petitioner No. 2, which would prompt the police to arrest Petitioner No. 2. I highly disapprove of the IO’s behaviour in using these strategies, and the officer has to be referred for counselling on how to handle such circumstances.
Younger educated boys and girls are making their own life decisions, which is a change from earlier social standards in which caste and community are important considerations. Perhaps this is the way things will go in the future, reducing caste and communal conflicts through such inter-marriage, but in the interim, these young people suffer threats from the elderly, and the courts have started stepping in to protect them.
In the words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar “Annihilation of Caste: “I am convinced that the real remedy is inter-marriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount, the separatist feeling—the feeling of being aliens—created by Caste will not vanish. Where society is already well-knit by other ties, marriage is an ordinary incident of life. But where society is cut asunder, marriage as a binding force becomes a matter of urgent necessity. The real remedy for breaking caste is inter-marriage. Nothing else will serve as the solvent of caste.”
A fundamental right that is safeguarded by article 21 of the Indian Constitution is the ability to select one’s life mate. This situation demonstrates that the consent of the family is not necessary if two adults agree to get married. From this case, we also learn that no investigating officer or other police official has the ability to compel us to provide a statement at a certain police station. This decision is praiseworthy. This short ruling addresses a problem that many young people in today’s world encounter, and it serves as a lifeline for young people or those who pick their life partner without the consent of their families.
NAME : Srikara Badari Y.S
COLLEGE : UPES, School of Law.
 Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K M & Ors, 2018 crl 366
 Shakti Vahini V Union of India (2018) 7 SCC 192
 Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar, (2017), AIR 2017 SC 1079, 2017(2) SCALE 709
 Lata Singh V. State of U.P (2006) 5 SCC 475
 K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1, AIR 2017 SC 4161