No one, either individually or collectively, has the right to interfere in a marriage between two consenting adults, a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said on Monday.

| TNN | Feb 6, 2018, 00:24 IST

Highlights

  • The SC bench led by CJIMisra told khap panchayats not to assume the role of conscience keepers of society.
  • Courts would go by the law and not tradition and ‘gotra’ considerations to determine the legality of a marriage, the bench said.
  • Advocate Hooda, appearing for some khap panchayats, said khaps encouraged inter-caste marriages given the skewed sex ratio in Haryana.

NEW DELHI: No one, either individually or collectively, has the right to interfere in a marriage between two consenting adults, a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said on Monday.

The bench sternly told khap panchayats not to assume the role of conscience keepers of society and said courts would go by the law and not tradition and ‘gotra’ considerations to determine the legality of a marriage.

Senior advocate Narender Hooda, appearing for some khap panchayats, said khaps encouraged inter-caste and inter-faith marriages as they had permitted Haryanvi men to marry women from other states given the skewed sex ratio in the state.

“What the khaps oppose is ‘sapinda’ or ‘sagotra’ marriage between men and women or when they are within the prohibited degrees of relationship, a bar which is supported by genetic science. Khaps try to uphold centuries of tradition and act as conscience keepers of society,” he said.

The apex court bench asked, “Who has appointed you as guardians of society or its conscience keeper? Do not assume that role… If a marriage is not permissible under law, there are courts to annul it. Khaps have no business determining the legality of a marriage.

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