New Delhi: The High Court on Friday said that the Delhi Police should maintain a “runaway couple cell” to support and aid couples who marry without their families’ permission and face threats from them.
While hearing a protection plea moved by an intercaste major couple, who married against the consent of the girl’s family, Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani orally told the counsel appearing for Delhi Police: “Delhi Police should have a runaway couple cell…Let them have a separate cell which deals with the runaway couples in compliance of Ashok Kumar Todi (case).”
In the Ashok Kumar Todi case, the top court had ruled: “If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or interreligious 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.”
Justice Bhambhani was hearing a plea by a couple who married in a Arya Samaj Mandir in Tis Hazari on April 7 and were furnished a marriage certificate.
The woman’s family is allegedly threatening the couple since they got married without getting their approval. Due to the threats, the couple sought police protection for their life and freedom.
The couple’s lawyer claimed that the identity cards that were attached to the plea showed that both of the people, who were also present in court, are of legal age.
Moreover, despite filimg a complaint with the relevant SHO on April 11, it was alleged that the police failed to assist them right away.
The Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) appearing for Delhi Police submitted that adequate steps will be taken to ensure safety and security of the couple.
“It is directed that the cell phone number of the SHO and the beat constable be furnished to the petitioners (couple) who they may call in any eventuality,” the court said.
While issuing notice in the plea, the court also sought a status report from the Delhi Police within six weeks’ time and listed the matter for further hearing in September.
Additionally, Justice Bhambhani orally told the ASC that a runaway couple cell be established outside the Arya Samaj Mandir so that the newlyweds may go there right away seeking help if they were threatened by their family.
“Preferably this cell (runaway couple cell) should be set up outside the Arya Samaj Mandir, Tis Hazari…It should be streamlined,” the court said.