Love knows no religion and that was the verdict given by Kerala’s High Court castigating communalization of inter-faith marriages. The court ruled that all cases of inter-faith marriages cannot be regarded as ‘love-jihad’. A division bench of the court was hearing a habeas corpus case filed by a husband asking for release of his wife. It ruled, “Every case of inter-religious marriage shall not be portrayed on a religious canvas and create fissures in the communal harmony otherwise existing in God’s own country Kerala”.
The bench was hearing the case filed by 25 year-old, Anees Hameed, wanting release of his wife, Shruthi Meledath from her family’s custody. The two were students of Kannur College before they got married but were denied married life by the girl’s family who moved a Habeas corpus petition in Kerala High Court in the month of May. The court however, overruled and let Shruthi stay with her husband but she was forcibly removed by her parents and admitted to a yoga center where she alleged tortured and harassed to give up her marriage. The center located in Tripunithura in Ernakulam district allegedly re-converts Hindu women considering a change in religion. Despite being contained at the place for close to two months, Shruthi was bent on returning to her legally married husband.
The bench applauded their resolution by calling it "extra-ordinary courage" on the couple’s part to "decry the attempt of her parents to deflect the course of justice by misleading litigation".
The judgment read out before both the parties began with a quote by American civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou, “Love recognises no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
The bench outlined possible steps a family can take if individuals chose to marry people of different faith but threats given to such couples are illegal in every count. “In our opinion, such acts of violence or threats or harassment are wholly illegal and those who commit them must be severely punished. This is a free and democratic country and once a person becomes a major, he or she can marry whosoever he or she likes. If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage, the maximum they can do is that they can cut off social relations with the son or the daughter. But they cannot give threats or commit or instigate acts of violence, and cannot harass the person who undergoes such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage,’’At the end of the day, love won over this proceeding.