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Supreme Court lets minister’s daughter cut ties with parents and husband against forced marriage

NOTA

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a Karnataka politician’s daughter, forced to marry against her wishes, to go anywhere she wants and chase her studies and career, asking the state police to give her enough security.

“You are a major. You are independent to go wherever you want to go,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra on Monday, adding that nobody, including her family and her husband, can force or coerce her.

The 26-year-old woman had fled home complaining that she was forced to get married against her wish.

The daughter of a BJP politician and a computer engineer dubbed Ms ‘X’ in the case, had asked the court to set aside her marriage, which, she said, she had never consented to. She also requested protection to be able to study and work in Bengaluru.

Senior lawyer Indira Jaising, who is representing the woman, told the court that all her documents, including educational certificates, Aadhaar card and passport, are with her parents.

After the court’s order, her family assured the judges that they wouldn’t harass her and would give her the documents. Ms Jaising has told the court that the woman will start divorce proceedings.

The woman, forced to marry against her wishes on March 14, had come to Delhi and sought the protection of the Supreme Court, saying her fundamental right to choose her life partner had been “trampled by her family members, who in connivance with each other, have coerced, threatened and tricked her into getting married to the man, against her wishes and free consent”.

The woman had said her family’s conduct suggested a lead-up to ‘honour killing’ – killing over family honour – as she wanted to marry to a person outside her caste.

The woman, an engineer, alleged that she was forced to discontinue her studies in January this year as her parents forced her to marry against her wishes.

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