Gujarat HC Reunites Inter-Caste Couple Who Were Forced to Divorce

Meanwhile, a couple in Delhi was attacked and the man killed allegedly by the woman's family.

New Delhi: While the Gujarat high court on Friday reunited an inter-caste couple who had been forced into a divorce by the woman’s family within two weeks of marriage, the Punjab and Haryana high court failed to provide security to a couple who are believed to have been victims to their family’s violence.

The reunited couple are a 32-year-old doctor in a government health centre in Deodar taluka and a staff nurse from another government health centre who had fallen in love and got married in 2017. While the groom belonged to the Thakor community, an oppressed caste, the woman belonged to the Chaudhary community, a privileged caste. The woman’s family was reportedly against this marriage, because of which the woman kept the marriage a secret for four years and stayed separate from him.

After registering their marriage on May 12 this year, the woman’s family got agitated and forced the two to sign divorce papers within two weeks of their wedding, on May 26. After this, the woman was taken back to her parental house. A week later, she sent a message to the man saying that she was forcibly kept in the house against her wishes, and wanted to get back with him again.

According to the doctor’s advocate Jigar Gadhavi, who then helped the doctor to file a habeas corpus petition in the high court on June 10, the woman wished to leave her parent’s house and had requested the man to free her from her confinement.

The bench of Justice R.M. Chhaya and Justice Nirzar Desai asked for the woman to be present in the hearing, after which the woman appeared in front of the court through video conference mode. She told the court that she was 26 years old and desired to reunite with her husband. “Live your own life as per your own wish,” the court told her, while permitting her to return to her husband, and also ordered Banaskantha police to provide security to the couple till they reached the man’s village.

On Thursday, another couple living in New Delhi’s Dwarka were shot, after which  24-year-old Vinay Dahiya, a taxi driver, died and 19-year-old Kiran was severely injured. While Vinay’s body was found on the road, Kiran was found injured on the terrace of the house adjacent to the couple’s house, where they had moved only three days ago.

The couple had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek protection in 2020 after eloping in August. The police said that 6-7 men broke into the couple’s house and fired at least 10 rounds at them.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh of the Punjab and Haryana high court on August 19, 2020 had asked the Sonepat SSP to find out the truth in the couple’s allegations. The SSP was also directed to assess the “threat perception of the petitioners”.

After the incident, the police detained the woman’s family members for questioning. Kiran’s mother, according to the police, had lodged a complaint the day of their wedding, August 13, at Sonepat’s Kharkhoda police station, and an abduction FIR was registered against unidentified persons.

Following the attack, the police have detained Kiran’s family members for questioning. “They approached me, alleging that Kiran’s family was not letting them get married and had been giving them death threats,” the couple’s advocate, Abhimanyu Kalsy reportedly said.

After the attack, Kalsy had said that no protection was provided to them. In fact, he said that an FIR was lodged against Vinay by Kiran’s family claiming that he had forcibly married her despite her being a minor. “She was 18 when they got married. I later moved a plea seeking quashing of the FIR, which was subsequently done, but no police assistance was provided to them,” he added.

Vinay was declared dead on arrival after being rushed to Venkateshwar Hospital while Kiran’s condition is critical.