Faith, religion shouldn’t influence choice of life partner, observes Delhi High Court


The Delhi High Court has stressed that matters of faith and religion should not influence the selection of a life partner, affirming that the right to marry is a fundamental aspect of human liberty.
A bench of Justice Saurabh Banerjee emphasised that the right to choose a life partner is not only enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but is also an integral component of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution.
The bench remarked, “It is crucial to reiterate that the choice of a life partner should not be influenced by matters of faith and religion. When the Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to freely practice, profess, and propagate any religion, it also ensures autonomy in matters of marriage.”
The court has clarified that it is not within the purview of the State, society, or even the parents of the individuals involved to dictate the choice of a life partner or to restrict and curtail these rights when it concerns consenting adults.
The bench made the observation in response to a petition by an interfaith couple who married against their families’ wishes and were facing threats as a result. The court granted the petition and instructed the relevant authorities to provide them with protection.
The court directed that the contact details of the relevant police officials be provided to the petitioners, allowing them to seek assistance as needed. The court emphasized that the petitioners are adults and have the right to marry each other, without being influenced by religion, faith, or beliefs.
Furthermore, the court emphasized that the parents of the woman should not be allowed to threaten the life and liberty of the petitioners, who do not require societal approval for their personal decisions and choices. “Article 21 of the Constitution grants protection of life and personal liberty to all individuals, entitling every individual to exercise personal choices, especially in matters relating to marriage,” the judge concluded.