“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” – Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
The Punjab & Haryana HC in the case of Tek Chand vs. the State of Punjab and others, held that Swayamwar (Form of commencing marriage) falls under the ambit of Article 21. It further observed that marriage by one’s own choice is not a modern phenomenon and that its roots can be traced in ancient history including holy books like Ramayana Mahabharata. Marriage is a human right and the Supreme Court also in various instances have quoted that the right to marry is a fundamental right.
The bench of Justice Jagmohan Bansal, while hearing a matter against a man on the allegations of kidnapping a girl and later solemnising marriage with her. In the instant matter parties were major and they performed marriage against the will of their parents. They were happily cohabiting. The court refused to interfere in the matter and noted that since both of them are happy no one including the court has the right to disturb their life.
The court further observed that “They have the right to live their life in the way and manner they like. They are blessed with two children. With a pending criminal case, nobody can lead a happy life. The state has no right to interfere in the life of a duly married couple. Continuance of criminal proceedings is not only going to disturb the life of the petitioner but also there are all possibilities of disturbance in their children’s life.