Call it love-jihad or whatever, but Gujarat High Court is gonna remain unaffected. A bench comprising Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Biren Vaishnav have allowed a 19-year-old Hindu girl to live-in with her 20-year-old Muslim boyfriend, who is yet to attain the legal marriageable age.
This happened in the remote town of Dhanera in Gujarat. As per a Times of India report, the boy and girl have been in a relationship since their schooling years. They had decided to spend their lives together but without either of them wanting to change their religion.
Their marriage (which will happen once the boy turns 21 since that is the legal age for boys to get married under Indian Law) shall be registered under the Special Marriages Act. They had started living-in together under a special provision in Gujarat to formalize live-in relationships, called maitri karaar.
The girls parents, however, objected to this relationship and took her with them in September. The boy then filed a petition at the High Court, seeking the girl’s release from the forceful restraint that her parents had subjected her to.
The girl was then produced in court and she admitted to her desire to marry the boy as soon as he’d turn 21 years old. She also maintained that she had no desire to stay with her parents. The boy has been made to file an affidavit declaring that he would marry her on turning 21.
The HC Judges then maintained, “Our society puts considerable stress on the institution of marriage and its sanctity. Instances of live-in relationship are largely confined to metro cities and other urban centres. Despite this, we must recognize our legal limitation in forcing an adult person of sound mind to stay at a place she does not want. Correspondingly, we also must recognize that we do not have the power to prevent the girl who is 19 years of age and is of sound mind from exercising her choice and joining the petitioner (her boyfriend), if she so desires.”