Be a ‘Great Lover’:  SC to Muslim man who married Hindu woman
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Be a ‘Great Lover’: SC to Muslim man who married Hindu woman

September 12, 2019

New Delhi:  “Be a loyal husband. Be a great lover too.” This was Supreme Court’s piece of advice yesterday to a Muslim man who claimed to have converted to Hinduism to marry a girl in Chhattisgarh.

The Top Court said it was in favour of inter-caste and interfaith marriages but that the man must establish his bona fides. On the girl’s father’s claim that the marriage was a sham, a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah asked the man to file an affidavit, saying the Court wanted to ensure the girl’s future was secure.

As the Counsel for the woman’s father insisted that it was a racket to trap women, the Apex Court asked the man to file an affidavit and show his bona fides. It also queried the man on whether he had legally changed his name after the marriage in an Arya Samaj temple.

Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the girl’s businessman-father, contended it was not a simple case of interfaith marriage. He said the man had claimed to have converted to Hinduism and adopted a Hindu name to marry the girl at an Arya Samaj temple but he had got the marriage registered in his original Muslim name.

Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the man, submitted that the marriage cannot be challenged as the girl was a 24-year-old adult. “At the time of marriage, he had converted. But they (the girl’s parents) were not ready for ‘ghar vapsi’,” he said.

As the Counsel for the woman’s father said that his daughter does not need any protection, the Top Court sought a reply from the State Government while allowing the intervention application of the woman, as she was not made party to her parents’ plea. The Counsel appearing for the woman contended she does not need any protection except from her father.

“We want to know whether he converted for marriage or otherwise,” the Court said. “We are not averse to this kind of living together. We are all for interfaith and inter-caste marriages. Have you changed your name? Have you taken all legal steps to change the name,” the Bench asked the Counsel.

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The Court was quick to add that its queries were intended only to secure the future of the girl. Last year, a Bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra decided that the woman should go with the parents, purely if she intends to return. Subsequently, she started staying with her parents.

However, the Police later took the woman away from her parents’ house, and the matter reached the Chhattisgarh High Court, which ruled that she had expressed willingness to be with her husband.

The Counsel appearing for her parents submitted before the Court that the husband has converted back to Islam and the Apex Court stated that it would look into the matter. At all this, the Court observed that it is not the matter of law but rather it is inclined to look into how the future would pan out for the woman.

“What if the husband leaves the woman? We are not against inter-religious or inter-caste marriage. Such marriages should be encouraged,” it said, but also observed that women are left in the lurch by some partners.

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