Caste-based discrimination is so deep-rooted in Indian society that families still continue to be against inter-caste marriages, the Allahabad High Court observed recently.
"This is the clear case of our society's dark face, where the families still feel shy to get their son or daughter to marry inter caste. The court after hearing the parties, records its deepest anguish, whereby this social menace is so deep rooted that even after 75 years of independence, we are fighting the cases with his opponents on this score only," the court said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by a woman and her accused-husband (belonging to a scheduled caste) who sought quashing of the chargesheet filed against the husband
The chargesheet was filed under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (compelling to marriage) of Indian Penal Code, and Section 7/8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act)
The wife's father filed the FIR against the husband in February 2019. He had alleged that the accused had enticed his minor daughter
However, the judge observed the father was going ahead with case despite the daughter marrying the accused voluntarily only because this was an inter-caste marriage
The lawyer representing the couple argued that the only legal loophole was that the girl was only 17 years old at the time of marriage
The Court has said that the father should have withdrawn the complaint for the sake of his daughter's future
What next? The High Court has asked the woman's father to appear before it on the next date of hearing and also stayed the proceeding with stemming from the chargesheet.
The case will be taken up next on 28 April.