KERALA

Madras HC orders protection for couple

The Madras High Court has directed the police to conduct an inquiry and provide protection to an inter-caste couple after a Dalit man, who recently married a girl from a different religion, approached the judiciary fearing that they could be victims of “honour killing.”

The petitioner had married the girl on October 19 at a temple in Thanjavur. However, the girl’s father lodged a complaint at the Elammakkara Police Station in Kochi, Kerala saying that she was “missing” and the police were trying to locate her.

Apprehending that if he were to be summoned by the police for an inquiry, there was “every likelihood of honour killing” he prayed the court to direct the police to provide him and his wife protection. He had earlier submitted a representation to the Maduravoyal Police in Chennai seeking protection but no tangible action was taken on it.

Citing the Supreme Court judgment in Lata Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh case (2006), Justice P.N. Prakash said the apex court has directed all the instrumentalities of the State to support and permit inter-caste and inter-religious marriages for bringing in communal harmony.

The judge also observed that the direction of the Supreme Court was a law declared under Article 141 of the Constitution of India and was binding on all the State functionaries, including the police authorities, who were respondents in this case.

He then directed the petitioner and his wife to appear before the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Ambattur here and give a representation seeking police protection.

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