The Karnataka High Court has held that the right of any individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India. A division bench of Justices S Sujata and Sachin Shankar Magadum, while disposing of a habeas corpus petition filed by Wajeed Khan seeking the release of his lover Ramya from confinement. The decision by Karnataka Government brought a law against 'love jihad' - a conspiracy theory used to cause conversion and discredit marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women.
Ramya submitted that she is staying at Mahila Dakshatha Samithi, Vidyaranyapura, at present, pursuant to the complaint lodged by her to the Janodaya Santwana Kendra, alleging infringement of her right to liberty caused by her parents relating to her marriage.
Further, she submitted that she has decided to marry the petitioner who is a colleague. The mother of the petitioner has no objections for the marriage of her son with her. However, her parents are not giving consent to the said marriage.
The bench said “The scope of habeas corpus being limited to produce the person and she being produced before the Court, recording her submission as aforesaid, we dispose of the writ petition setting her at liberty.”
It added Ramya being a software engineer is capable of taking a decision regarding her life. The court directed Mahila Dakshata Samithi directed to release her forthwith.
The division bench of the High Court declared that conversion just for the sake of marriage was invalid. The division bench said that the single bench decisions failed to deal with the "the issue of life and liberty of two matured individuals in choosing a partner or their right to freedom of choice as to with whom they would like to live".