Inter-caste and Inter-religious Marriages

Richa Garg

Army Institute of Law, Mohali

Editor’s Note: The paper is an analysis of Inter-caste and Inter-religious marriages in India looking at the history of the practice, the Supreme Court’s view on it and recommendations on the practice of Khap Panchayats’ interference in the practice.”

INTRODUCTION

The autonomy of every person in matters concerning oneself – a free and willing creator of one’s own choices and decisions, is now central to all thinking on community order and organization. Needless to emphasize that such autonomy with its manifold dimensions is a constitutionally protected value and is central to an open society and civilized order. Duly secured individual autonomy, exercised on informed understanding of the values integral to one’s well being is deeply connected to a free social order. Coercion against individual autonomy will then become least necessary.

In moments and periods of social transition, the tensions between individual freedom and past social practices become focal points of the community’s ability to contemplate and provide for least hurting or painful solutions. The wisdom or wrongness of certain community perspectives and practices, their intrinsic impact on liberty, autonomy and self-worth, as well as the parents’ concern over impulsive and unreflective choices – all these factors come to the fore-front of consideration.

The problem, however, is the menacing phenomena of repressive social practices in the name of honor triggering violent reaction from the influential members of community who are blind to individual autonomy. How best to tackle it is the question. In this context, the instrumentalist role of law to grapple with such situations assumes importance.

INTER-CASTE and INTER RELIGIOUS MARRIAGES

HISTORY

During the British period, it was widely accepted that a Hindu marriage is a sacrament, and one of the ten necessary sanskaras. It also came to be established that every and any Hindu could marry.[1] The only prohibitions recognised were on the basis of caste, religion, gotra or blood relationship. Some of these prohibitions are based on the rules of endogamy and exogamy.

The prohibition on inter-caste and on inter sub-caste marriages, relates to the rule of endogamy. In the Vedic age, inter-caste marriages were common. Ancient texts mention mainly two types of marriages:

  1. Anuloma marriage: when a male of a superior caste marries a female of an inferior caste. For eg: a marriage between a Kshatriya boy and a Shudra girl
  2. Pratiloma marriage: when an inferior caste girl marries a superior caste boy. For eg: marriage between a Brahmin girl and a Shudra boy.

In the post Vedic period, the Hindu sages approved of the sa-varna marriages and disapproved of inter-varna marriages. Later on, this prohibition was extended to various jati (caste). During the British period, the pratiloma marriages were considered invalid in all schools of Hindu Law, but the anuloma were valid in the state of Bombay[2], Assam, Bengal[3]. The invalidity of pratiloma form of marriage was natural in a society based on such rigid form of distinctions between the superior and the inferior and men and women. Mixed marriage could be performed only as a custom or as a civil marriage under the Special Marriage Acts, 1872-1923 or under the Arya Marriages Validating Act, 1937. The inter sub-caste marriages by the Hindu Marriage (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1946. This is also the position under the Hindu Marriages Act, under which “any two Hindus” can perform a Hindu marriage.  However, inter caste marriages are perfectly valid marriages.

Inter Religious Marriages:

Even before 1955, marriages between persons belonging to different religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism were valid[4]. In some cases it was held that marriages between a Hindu and a non-Hindu was valid. Kidwai,J. said that authorities clearly established that there was no rule of Hindu law which forbade the substance of a marriage, one of the parties to which was a non-Hindu.[5]

Similarly, it was held that Hindu law did not forbid marriage between a shudra and a non-Hindu[6]. But under the Hindu Marriage Act, marriages between a Hindu and a non-Hindu or outside the four main religious communities of Hindus is not possible, and such a marriage if performed in India is invalid. But if a marriage is performed between a Hindu and a non-Hindu in a foreign country, it will be a valid marriage, if the lex loci permits such a marriage[7]. Such marriages performed in India will also be valid if performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.[8]

INTER-CASTE MARRIAGES

The inter-caste marriage means marriage outside one’s own caste. In other words, it brings about the union of a man and woman belonging to two different castes. For a very long time caste-marriage was the only acceptable form of marriage in India.[9] No one made any protest against it. But the situation has been changed now. The heavy dowry demanded by grooms, modern education, and the exorbitant bride price have encouraged the practice of inter-caste marriage these days. In order to remove these evils from society people have accepted inter-caste marriage.

KHAP PANCHAYATS:

Khap is a system of administration peculiar to the Jat community of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It is a concept of the patriarchal society and is based on principles of Bhaichara (brotherhood) and HukkaPaani (community living and eating together). Each individual carries the name of his/her village and gotra. Two people belonging to the same gotra or two people belonging to a different gotra but falling under the jurisdiction of the same Khap panchayat cannot get married. Such a marriage is considered incestuous. This is because members of the clan share the same patrilineal descent. The existence and role of the Khap panchayats was first recognised during the Mughal period in clearer terms. Emperor Akbar even granted freedom to the Khaps in matters of religion and internal administration. They were exempted from taxes and the Khaps were allowed to perform their internal functions with full freedom (Pradhan, 1966). They were formed because the sufferers of armed conflicts and wars settled together and organised themselves into clans. It provided them a sense of belongingness and identity. a Khap panchayat governs a group of five or more villages and organise themselves into a council of members elected by voting. Their main work involves resolving civil disputes relating to marriage, property etc.

Traditional Approach:

The origin of Khap Panchayats can be traced back to the Vedic period. Originally, they provided a secured living for people of the same clan and worked for the social upliftment of the community. The panchayats were expected to ensure a high level of justice, fair play and efficiency, in the absence of which the panchayats could not command respect from the villagers. The leaders of Khaps passed resolutions for banning female foeticide, preventing the evil practice of dowry, abolition of sati, imposing a limit on the costs involved in marriages and restricting the number of people invited in a marriage so that the girls’ family is not burdened with extra expenditure. Khap panchayats remain a popular method of rendering justice at the doorstep of people because they do not involve any money, are less time-consuming and peaceful negotiations between parties is possible (Sangwan, 2011).

Whenever, there is a dispute, the panchayat is asked to settle it. The attendance of all council members is compulsory for Khap meetings. These members conduct the trial in the presence of the villagers and the decision which is considered best under the prevailing circumstances is rendered. This decision is binding on both the parties. In case there is an objection by any one of the party, the Khap leaders can reopen the matter and decide accordingly. In most cases, the panchayat reaches a consensus after consulting villagers who possess the freedom to voice their opinions. This right of exercising the freedom of speech and expression is deep rooted in our democratic system and also given under Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution (Senthilraja, 2010) traditionally; women played a great role in the panchayati system. They were appointed as leaders and council members in villages.

In case of a dispute, the panchayat members intervene at a stage where a first information report (hereinafter referred to as FIR) is filed in the police station but before the matter gets listed in the court. This poor people who cannot appoint advocates or pay hefty court fees to continue fighting the case in district courts consider the khap panchayats as a blessing.If at all the matter gets listed in the court, the Khap panchayat is not permitted legally to interfere with the order of the court. The verdict of the court is binding upon the parties. In case of a conflict between the decision of Khap panchayat and the court, the order of the court prevails. However, if, while giving the judgment, the Khap panchayat intervenes, the judge takes into consideration their opinions before delivering the final judgment. It is believed that Khap panchayat is better informed of the internal tensions than the district court who is an outsider. Hence in these matters, the district courts seek assistance and support from Khap panchayats.

Incase of inter-caste marriages, the maximum punishment Khap panchayats can impose is to reprimand the couple, ostracise them from the community or stop their hukka-paani. Majority of khap panchayat leaders deny infamous honour killings that happen due to intolerance of inter-caste/inter-gotra marriages or refuse to comment on such sensitive issues. The Caste councils or panchayats popularly known as ‘Khap Panchayats’ try to adopt the chosen course of ‘moral vigilantism’ and enforce their diktats by assuming to themselves the role of social or community guardians because they believe that the couple who have married outside their caste or religion have  brought shame to the village and their family. In such cases, the remedy available to the couple is to seek police protection and there are separate rooms in the police station where they can seek shelter until the threat ceases to exist. Generally, the couples escape from their native villages and sever all social ties. The justification given for these killings is that the relatives feel that the children have brought shame to their families by marrying within the same gotra. The Khap panchayat is neither a binding authority nor do they have the knowledge of law to give verdicts on matters of honour killings. These honour killings are punishable in the court of law and tried in accordance with the provisions of law. Even the political parties work as a team with these panchayats. In one of the instances, there was unrest in one of the villages in the state of Haryana because the Jats were asking for reservations in educational institutions and government jobs. Because of the unrest, police opened fire and one of the members of the Jat community got killed. The Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda requested the Khap panchayat to resolve the matter. Even the court refused to take up the matter and asked the Khap panchayat to resolve it. The Khap panchayat resolved the matter without further loss of life and resumed normalcy. In this manner the Khap panchayats play a major role in resolving disputes where even the court fails or refuses to interfere because of the unshakable faith in Khap panchayats. It is the belief of the people that justice is done without any biases or prejudices and this is solely because the people governed by these panchayats have a mental block in respect to change and still hold tight on the ancient traditions of marriage which the khaps widely still propagate.

Modern Approach

The main criticism of Khap panchayat is that rights of an individual are not respected. Rights of liberty, dignity, freedom to choose own life partner are jeopardised. Women are abused and their issues are never addressed. Most of the Khap rules are against law. Rule of men rather than rule of law prevails. The rate of female foeticide and infanticide is highest in North India, especially in Haryana, where the sex ratio is highly disproportionate. According to the census, there are only 792 females for 1000 males. These Khap panchayats have failed to take measures for social upliftment such as propagating primary education, criminalizing killing of girl child- the reasons which led to the formation of these panchayats in the ancient times. There is a lack of adequate representation of women at the decision making level. One major criticism of such a mechanism is agitation by the youth as it disregards their aspirations and demands for change in outlook.

In one of the instances, the Bagpat district of Uttar Pradesh, Khap panchayat had [10]issued a diktat that women will not be allowed to carry cell phones and they cannot visit the market place unescorted if below 40 years of age (Ramachandran, 2012). This clearly is a violation of fundamental right of freedom of movement throughout the territory of India as guaranteed under Article 19(1) (d) of the Constitution of India. The justification given by Khap leaders is that diktat protects women from harassment. However, strict action must be taken against the harassers who should not be allowed to move freely and not the other way round. Our so called leaders were in news for blaming women for the rapes committed on them and demanded reducing the marriageable age of women to 16 years (The Economic Times, 2012). Such insensitivity and deplorable remarks on womanhood by these leaders should be dealt with seriously.

Khap panchayat bans inter-gotra marriages which is highly debatable. According to the law, every person who has attained the age of 18 years in case of a female and 21 years in case of a male, he has the right to marry out of their free will. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; only ‘sapinda marriages’ are prohibited and if they have a common lineal ascendant. Marrying within the same gotra/caste is not prohibited under law. This causes a conflict between custom and law. In most cases, the family members of the girl get her married against her will at a young age fearing a love marriage at a later stage. A forced marriage is performed by the relatives without the informed consent of the bride. This causes a lot of physical and emotional pressure, and the young brides often experience physical violence, rape, abduction, torture, enslavement, sexual abuse, dowry deaths and murder.“Honour killings” are mostly reported from the States of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and U.P. Bhagalpur in Bihar is also one of the known places for “honour killings”. Even some incidents are reported from Delhi and Tamil Nadu. A senior khap panchayat member gave a statement in a press conference, “In order to save the community, one has to kill the dissenters. Parents of such children should kill them as they bring shame to the community and have no right to live. Only then the honour of the community can be restored” (Kumari, 2011). Unfortunately, this glorifies murder and the perpetrators go unpunished. It is strongly recommended that not only should the perpetrators be punished but abettors of such murders should be severely punished.

In case of Lata Singh v. State of U P.[11], it was stated that the petitioner was a major and is free to choose her life partner. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 clearly does not prohibit inter-caste marriages. In fact, inter caste marriages are helping to abolish the caste system and they should be encouraged. The offenders should be severely punished incase of violence or threat to life of such couples. The court allowed the petition. In this case, the Supreme Court had the opportunity of restricting the powers of Khap panchayats and declaring them unconstitutional and ultra vires. However, the court failed in doing the same. One of the major criticisms of this judgment is that the Justice Katju declares that parents of such children can abandon them. Such acts by parents are not justified because marrying out of choice is not a crime. Such couples are free to be a part of the society. The hostile behavior of family members causes emotional trauma and ultimately creates ill feelings which leads to failure of the institution of family.

A common practice among Khap Panchayats is to declare an inter-gotra marriage null and void. In extreme cases, the husband and wife are forced to become brother and sister in front of the entire village and the child born out of wed lock is given to the family members or given away for adoption without the consent of the parents. In cases of such cruelty, the enforcement authorities need to intervene and prevent such practices. Unfortunately, the law has failed to take cognizance because such matters are handled solely by Khap panchayat who are prejudiced in their minds. The court refuses to interfere with matters related to caste. Recently these panchayats were seeking to amend The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 wherein same gotra marriage will not be recognised. It will have a negative impact on personal matters of other religions like Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists (Senthilraja, 2010). Such unreasonable demands are ultra vires and unconstitutional. The question is to what extent should the government adhere to demands of Khap panchayats? How far their functioning is justified under the umbrella of having strong political ties and protecting their distinct identity?

JUDICIAL VIEW

The Supreme Court on April 20, 2011 held that inter-caste marriages are in “national interest” as a unifying factor in a nation where caste system is a “curse”. “The caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed the better. In fact, it is dividing the nation at a time when we have to be united to face the challenges before the nation. Inter-caste marriages are, in fact, in national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system,” a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra held in a judgment.

The court slammed caste system as a divisive factor which promotes families to murder their own children in the name of “honour killings”. The judgment, the court said, is to remind that this still is a democratic nation where a person who has reached the age of majority can marry “whosoever he/ she likes”. “There is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but barbaric and shameful murder,” Justice Katju, who wrote the judgment, observed.

Comparing khap panchayats to “kangaroo courts” where instant justice is meted out without any regard to judicial process of the country, the court said young boys and girls who marry outside their castes fall victims to their institutionalised “atrocities”.

“We have in recent years heard of ‘khap panchayats’ which often decree or encourage honour killings or other atrocities in an institutionalised way on boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get married or have been married, or interfere with the personal lives of people. We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out,” the court said.

The judgment refers to the 2006 Supreme Court decision in Lata Singh vs State of UP which had held that inter-caste marriages are not banned under the Hindu Marriage Act or any other law. The maximum that relatives can do if they disagree with the inter-caste marriage of their children is to cut off all bonds with them. “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. This is a free and democratic country,” the court said.[12]

 Furthermore, Some proposals are being mooted proposing amendments to Section 300 I.P.C. by way of including what is called ‘Honour Killing’ as murder and shifting the burden of proof to the accused. [13]

Unlawful interference of Caste Panchayats with marriages in the name of honour: A suggested legislative framework

  1. Incidents of murder and other grave offences committed against persons marrying or proposing to marry sagotras or outside their castes/religions are periodically reported.[14]  It is learnt that number of cases goes unreported for fear of reprisals or cascading effects.  The intervention of caste/community assemblies in the name of ‘Khap Panchayats’, ‘Katta Panchayats’  in the occurrence of these offences and other related incidents involving serious life and liberty consequences, are frequently noticed.  Such assemblies gathered on caste lines assume to themselves the power and authority to declare on and deal with ‘objectionable’ matrimonies and exhibit least regard for life and liberty and are not deterred by the processes of administration of justice.  The penal law lacks direct application to the illegal acts of such caste assemblies and needs to be amended. Meanwhile innocent youth are harassed and victimized while such assemblies continue to wield unhindered authority and also seem to resist any suggestion of being subjected to any social control.
  2. The pernicious practice of Khap Panchayats and the like taking law into their own hands and pronouncing on the invalidity and impropriety of Sagotra and inter-caste marriages and handing over punishment to the couple and pressurizing the family members to execute their verdict by any means amounts to flagrant violation of rule of law and invasion of personal liberty of the persons affected.
  3. Sagotra marriages are not prohibited by law, whatever may be the view in olden times. The Hindu Marriage Disabilities Removal Act, 1946 was enacted with a view to dispel any doubts in this regard. The Act expressly declared the validity of marriages between the Hindus belonging to the same ‘gotra’ or ‘pravara’ or different sub-divisions of same caste. The Hindu Marriage Act does not prohibit sagotra or inter- caste marriages.
  4. The views of village elders or family elders cannot be forced on the willing couple and no one has a right to use force or impose far-reaching sanctions in the name of vindicating community honour or family honour. There are reports that drastic action including wrongful confinement, persistent harassment, mental torture,  infliction of  severe bodily harm  is resorted to either by close relations or some third parties against the so- called erring couple either on the exhortations of some or all the Panchayatdars or with their connivance. Social boycotts and other illegal sanctions affecting the young couple, the families and even a section of local inhabitants are quite often resorted to. The cumulative effect of all such acts have also public order dimensions.
  5. In a very recent case – Arumugam Servai vs. State of Tamil Nadu [reported in (2011) 6 SCC 405], the Supreme Court strongly deprecated the practice of khap/katta panchayats taking law into their own hands and indulging in offensive activities which endanger the personal lives of the persons marrying according to their choice.
  6. Some proposals are being mooted proposing amendments to Section 300 I.P.C. by way of including what is called ‘Honour Killing’ as murder and shifting the burden of proof to the accused. These proposals have been studied.   The views from various quarters at an informal level have also been ascertained.  After a preliminary examination of these and certain other models of law, a broad framework of proposed law to deal with the situation has been prepared and annexed herewith. The views of the public are invited with reference thereto. Draft Legislation (enclosed).
  7. The idea underlying the aforesaid provisions is that there must be a threshold bar against congregation or assembly for the purpose of discussing on and objecting to the conduct of young persons of marriageable age marrying according to their choice, the ground of objection being that they belong to the same gotra or to different castes or communities. The Panchayatdars or caste elders have no right to interfere with the life and liberty of such young couples whose marriages are permitted by law and they cannot create a situation whereby such couples are placed in a hostile environment in the village/locality concerned and exposed to the risk of safety.  Such highhanded acts have a tendency to create social tensions and disharmony too. No frame of mind or belief based on social hierarchy can claim immunity from social control and regulation, in so far as such beliefs manifest themselves as agents of enforcement of right and wrong. The very assembly for an unlawful purpose viz. disapproving the marriage which is otherwise within the bounds of law and taking consequential action should be treated as an offence as it has the potential to endanger the lives and liberties of individuals concerned.
  8. The proposed law is not in derogation of the provisions of Indian Penal Code which can take care of various offences of serious nature perpetrated by the members of caste panchayats in prosecution of their unlawful objective. At any rate, there is a room for doubt as regards the invocation of the provisions of IPC. However, the criminal acts other than those falling under the three penal provisions of the Act can still be dealt with under the provisions of the Penal Code including the provisions relating to abetment and conspiracy. For instance, if a persons who is a party to the unlawful assembly has committed or abetted the commission of an offence of grievous hurt against the targeted couple or one of them or their relatives, the IPC provisions will be attracted. That is why Section 5 has been introduced to make it clear that the provisions of Sections 2[15], 3[16], and 4[17] of the proposed Bill are without prejudice to the provisions of IPC. In order to have sufficient deterrent effect, mandatory minimum punishments have been prescribed while taking care to see that such punishment has an element of proportionality.
  9. In order to have sufficient deterrent effect, mandatory minimum punishments have been prescribed while taking care to see that such punishment has an element of proportionality. Apart from these penal provisions, a specific section has been proposed to empower the District Magistrate or the SDM to take preventive measures and a further obligation is cast on them to take note of the information laid before them by the marrying couple or their family members and to extend necessary protection to them. The officials are made accountable for the failure or omission on their part to take necessary steps to prevent unlawful assembly (caste panchayats, etc.) or to give protection to the targeted couple. It has been provided that the offences shall be tried by a Court of Sessions in the District presided over by the Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge as notified by the High Court. The need for constitution of special courts can be reviewed at a later stage. The offences are cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.
  10. The overlapping with the provisions of IPC has been, as far as possible, avoided. Though, at first look, it may appear that the offence of unlawful assembly is nothing other than what we find in Section 141 of IPC, it needs to be pointed out that the unlawful assembly of the kind contemplated by the proposed Bill does not strictly fall within the scope of the said section. The ingredients of ‘unlawful assembly’ under the Indian Penal Code and the unlawful assembly contemplated by Section 2 of the proposed Bill are not the same. Moreover, a punishment higher than that prescribed for unlawful assembly under IPC has been prescribed under Section 2. As regards Section 4 dealing with criminal intimidation, as already clarified, this Section has been introduced with a view to provide for higher punishment in the case of acts of criminal intimidation by the members of unlawful assembly within the meaning of this Bill. Thus, the provisions of the proposed Bill coupled with those in IPC would, it is hoped, be effectively able to combat the menacing trend of dastardly actions and drastic social sanctions directed against the hapless young couple and their families.
  11. The Commission is prima facie of the view that there is no need for introducing a provision in Section 300 IPC in order to bring the so-called ‘honour killings’ within the ambit of this provision. The existing provisions in IPC are adequate enough to take care of the situations leading to overt acts of killing or causing bodily harm to the targeted person who allegedly undermined the honour of the caste or community. The motive behind killing a person does not furnish real justification to introduce a separate provision in section 300, as is contemplated to be done under the proposed Bill (as published in the newspapers).   Probably, the addition of such clause may create confusion and interpretational difficulties.
  12. Further, shifting the onus on to the accused facing accusations of involvement in the serious offence of murder etc or abetment thereof is not desirable. Such a move will be against the cardinal principles of jurisprudence accepted and absorbed into our criminal justice system.  If burden of proof has to be shifted in such a case, logically, it will have to be done in a large number of other heinous crimes.   A holistic approach is called for and any attempt to drastically expand the rigor of criminal procedure to cope up with ad hoc situations may be counter-productive.  The introduction of such a drastic provision needs to be avoided.   As an alternative to this, the Commission is of the prima facie view that a presumption could be raised in respect of commission of the prohibited acts in clauses 3 and 4 of the proposed Bill, if he or she is a member of an unlawful assembly convened for the purpose of discussing and condemning the perfectly legal conduct of a young couple – married or intending to marry. This is necessary having regard to the fact that the task of identification of roles that may be played by one or more members of assembly, is difficult to accomplish as the eyewitnesses may not be willing to depose and the circumstantial evidence will not be strong enough to implicate the guilty. In such a situation, the presumption as envisaged by clause 6 will assume a significant role.
  13. In this context, the Commission feels that the analogy sought to be drawn from the provisions of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 is not appropriate for more than one reason. ‘Sati’ is a barbaric, deeply entrenched social evil which was prevalent in certain parts of the country.   The magnitude and seriousness of that evil cannot be compared to the problem on hand.  More important, the offence of ‘Sati’ always remained an open affair with all the rituals and ceremonies attached to it and the persons actively participating therein could be identified without difficulty.

CONCLUSION

It can be concluded henceforth that every individual has a legal right to choose the person they want to marry and they have a right to enjoy their right without any interference in the name of family honour or the men who constitute the khap panchayat of a place whereby the couple who dares to live according to his personal will is shunned from the society or killed in the name of honour. Even more evil is the part of the village people who agree with the ‘punishment’ so delivered for a ‘crime’ which does not exist in the first place and the absence of any guilt in carrying out such acts of murder or being a witness to the same and not taking any initiative to stop it.

Legislations are required to be enacted to check this evil and for the same a bill has been proposed in the parliament which if passed can prove to be a blessing for millions in our country who under the control of their family or due to fear of death give up their own desires and wishes of marrying someone they wish to. Also, if inter-caste and inter-religious marriages are solemnized, it is only going to be for the betterment of our country as this which checks the likes of the rigid caste system in our country and the problem of discrimination on the basis of caste. It with help in maintain a peaceful and a harmonious environment in the country where by each person gets to live a life of an equal by uniting our country. As a consequence of which the riots, clashes etc in the name of religion or caste will not be witnessed at such an extensive level and only then can we see the country rise to a level that it fully deserves.

Edited by Amoolya Khurana

[1] Dr Paras Diwan, Modern Hindu Law, 93 (22 ed., 2013)

[2]  Bai Gulab v. Jiwan Lal(1922) 46 born 471, Natha v. Mehta(1931) 55 bom

[3] Kastoori v. Chiranjit, 1960 All 446

[4] Bahadur v. Kartar, 1950 ME 1(between a sikh and a hindu)

[5] Dubey v. Dubey, 1951 All 529 at 540

[6] Rajamal v. Mariyammal, 1954 Mys 38

[7] chetti v. chetti (1909) p 67

[8] Dr Paras Diwan, Modern Hindu Law, 94 (22 ed., 2013)

[9]Write a brief note on Inter-caste marriage and its form available at http://www.preservearticles.com/201101183514/write-a-brief-note-on-inter-caste-marriage-and-its-forms.html, last seen on 08/09/2014

[10] UP khap panchayat bans jeans, mobile phones for girls, The Hindu (09/08/2014), available at http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uttarpradeshcommunity-panchayat-bans-jeans-mobile-phones-for-girls/article6298539.ece, last seen on 11/09/2014

[11] (2006) 5 SCC 475)

[12]http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/intercaste-marriages-in-national-interest-sc/778458/

[13] Dr. Kamaljit Kaur, Government of India Law Commission of India Prevention of Interference with the freedom of Matrimonial Alliances( in the    name of honour and traditions): a suggested legal framework, Family Law Mavin, available at http://familylawmavin.blogspot.in/2013/02/government-of-india-law-commission-of_2750.html?q=inter+caste+marriages, last seen on 14/09/2014

[14] Unlawful interference of Caste Panchayats etc. with marriages in the name of honor: A suggested legislative framework, Law Commission of India, available at http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/cp-Honour%20Killing.pdf , last seen on 09/09/2014

[15] Section 2 The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (interference with the freedom of matrimonial alliances) bill, 2011:

 (1) No person or any group of persons shall gather, assemble or congregate at any time with the view or intention to deliberate on, or condemn any marriage, not prohibited by law, on the basis that such marriage has dishonoured the caste or community tradition or brought disrepute to all or any of the persons forming part of the assembly or the family or the people of the locality concerned.

Explanation: ‘Marriage’ shall include a proposed or intended marriage.

 (2) Such gathering or assembly or congregation shall be treated as an unlawful assembly and every person convening or organizing such assembly and every member thereof participating therein shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months but which may be extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine up to ten thousand rupees.

[16] Section 3 The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (interference with the freedom of matrimonial alliances) bill, 2011:

Any member of an unlawful assembly who alone or in association with other such members counsels, exhorts or brings pressure upon any person or persons so as to prevent, or  disapprove of the marriage which is objected to by the said members of the unlawful assembly, or creates an environment of hostility towards such couple or either of them or their relatives or supporters, shall be deemed to have acted in endangerment of  their  liberty and such  an act of endangerment  shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one year but which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine up to twenty thousand rupees.

[17] Section 4 The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (interference with the freedom of matrimonial alliances) bill, 2011:

(1) Any member of an unlawful assembly who, with a view to secure compliance with the illegal decision of that assembly in relation to the marriage that is being objected to, indulges in criminal intimidation of the couple or either of them or their relatives or supporters shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one year but which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine up to thirty thousand rupees provided that if the threat be to cause harm or injury of the description referred to in second part of Section 506 IPC, the maximum punishment shall extend to seven years of imprisonment instead of three years and fine extending to thirty thousand rupees.

Explanation: The expression ‘criminal intimidation’ shall have the same meaning as is given in section 503 of the Indian Penal Code

One Reply to “Inter-caste and Inter-religious Marriages”

  1. Hi am Derick.. am Loving a Hindu Girl ana am gonna marry her ASAP… But her father blackmailing me that he will fine the complaint against me.. regarding that diffrent cast marriage…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *