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Case Comment On Laxmibai Chandragi v/s State Of Karnataka

Case comment:
Laxmibai chandaragi v. the state of Karnataka
[1]Case name: laxmibai chandaragi v. the state of Kar
Date of judgement: February 8, 2021
Appellate: laxmibai chandaragi b. and another
Respondent: state of Karnataka and others
Bench of judge: justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Hrishikesh Roy

The inter caste marriage means when the husband and wife are not of same cast or are from higher or lower class of society which is established by society. These types of marriages are not accepted by the society or by the family members as they have to or want fit with the society in south Asia. For example, a Dalit boy who is considered or considered to belong to lower class or section of the society is not accepted to marry a girl of brahmin's who is considered to be of higher class or section of the society or visa-versa. It is expected by the society or the family members that a person belonging to higher section of the society should only marry to same section of the society but not to be lower section of society.

According to the ancient society Hindu society is divided in four Varnas:
  1. Brahmins
  2. Kshatriyas
  3. Vaishyas
  4. Shudras
Indian society id divided according these varnas and occupations are also divided according to their cast or section in society but to stop such practices government have taken necessary steps and have made law to protect their interests in the society. Dr.B.R. Ambedkar is one of the biggest example who have established his presence in the making of constitution of India despite of his caste and bounders or norms established by the society. Concepts like Right against exploitation, right against discrimination, right to privacy, right to education, reservations etc., are established in constitution of India to protect lower section of society.

A writ petition was filled by Laxmibai chandaragi and Santosh Yadav under article 32 of the constitution of India. Both laxmibai chandaragi and Santosh Yadav were getting threats from their family as they got married in court against the wishes of their family and society. Laxmibai was from Hubli, Bangalore and Santosh Yadav is from Delhi. Family and society were infringing their right to choose life partner under [2]right to privacy.

Facts of the case
[3]According to the writ petition filed, a complaint was filed in Murgod police station, Savadatti taluk, Belagavi district by father Mr. Basappa Chandragi of laxmibai chandaragi. He filed the complaint by stating that his daughter is missing since 14.10.2020. thus, fir was registered (FIR NO. 226/2020), the investigating officer started the investigation after recording the statement of the father Mr. Basappa Chandaragi and her mother's, and other relatives. The investigating officer also got hand on all the call details. While investigation it came out that laxmibai Chandaragi without telling her parents has taken flight from Hubli to Bangalore, and from Bangalore to Delhi.

After reaching Delhi, she married Mr. Santosh Yadav without consent of her parents. After completing the marriage, she decided to share the information of got married with Mr. Santosh to her by sending their marriage certificate through social media platform i.e., WhatsApp on 15.10.2020. after receiving the information by the parents, the investigation officer paid a visit to Mr. Santosh's house in Ghaziabad but after the visit it came to the knowledge of investigating officer that the parents of Mr. Santosh do not have any information where he is. Laxmibai talked with the investigating officer stating that she is living with Santosh and have got married but investigating officer forced laxmibai to give statement in Murgod police station so that police can close the case.

Through the letter laxmibai informed the investigating officer that she won't be able to pay visit in the police station as she has threat to her life from her parents. The investigation officer counter her by saying that if she does not come back to Karnataka, else she will be accused for false charges against her husband. The petitioners were getting threats from uncle of laxmibai, to avoid this petitioner reached Allahabad high court on 19.10.2020 for seeking protection from family members, the matter was not taken up even after urgent hearing.[4]

Issues raised before the court:
  1. Is consent requirement necessary from their parents for two adult individuals to get married of their choice?
  2. Does article 21 of the constitution of India extend by giving the right to marry a person of their choice?
  3. Are there any guidelines to handle such sensitive issues for police officers?
  4. Can a police officer threaten an individual to get a statement recorded, and can a police officer threaten to file a false accusation?
Arguments presented by appellate:
  1. The learned counsel argued that even after stating the reason for not visiting the police station by the petitioners. Petitioner wrote the letter to the investigation officer stating that she has been receiving threats from her family members. Despite the reason, the investigating officer did not close the case.
  2. It was further argued that in the transcript submitted before the court of law, the conversation between laxmibai and the investigating officer identified that the investigating officer was asking laxmibai to visit Murgod police station, Karnataka, otherwise a false case would be filed of kidnapping by family members against Mr. Santosh and this will surely affect his job.
  3. Petitioners were also threatened that if laxmibai does not return home, they will also file an accusation of stealing things from home with the help of the investigation officer. This will not only impact laxmibai but will also impact Santosh's job.
  4. [5] Prosecutor made the court view that both the petitioners are highly learned and well-equipped people. He stated that Mr. Santosh, the husband, is MTech from NIT, Tiruchirappalli and, on the other hand, laxmibai, the wife, is M.A.Ed. Mr. Santosh got a placement as an assistant professor in Jain College of Engineering, Belagavi, Karnataka, whereas laxmibai was a lecturer in Karnataka Lingayat Education Society Pre-University College, Bailhongal, and they developed their relationship during these assignments.
  5. The prosecutor ended his argument by stating that the parents of laxmibai were against the marriage, but on the other hand, parents of Mr. Santosh had no objection to their decision.

Arguments presented by defendant:
  1. The learned counsel argued that the presents of laxmibai filed FIR because they were not able to find their daughter and thus investigating officer lodged the FIR.
  2. The learned counsel further stated that investigation officer called laxmibai as to close the case and for that he needed to record statement of laxmibai and to do so lamxibai was request to visit the murgod police station.
  3. The learned counsel further denied the accusation of threatening laxmibai by investigation officer.

The supreme court stated that the actions taken by investigation officer were wrong as petitioner laxmibai clearly stated reason of not paying visit in police station in writing and have send marriage certificate to parents and investigation officer and thus it was clear laxmibai have got married with her choice and have decided to live with her husband. She further stated that she was receiving and have threat from her family if she returns to Karnataka.

It was further stated that the investigation officer did not attempted to visit the residence of the petitioners to record the statement. It was stated that the attempt to place false accusation against petitioner and to comply with the demands of laxmibai's parents were ethically wrong. It was order that investigating officer would be send to counselling to learn how to handle such cases.

It was said that if investigating officer did his duty properly court would not have intervened in the case. It was ordered that apart from counselling to investigation officer a training programme should be organized to deal with such cases and it was added that the police authorities should immediately to take immediate actions within next eight weeks to lay down standards to deal with such cases.

The court furthers said that there is no need for further proceeding of FIR No. 226/2020 dated 15.10.2020 was quashed and hoped that the parents of Petitioner No. 1 would accept this marriage to "re-establish social network not only with Petitioner No. 1 but even with Petitioner No. 2."

The court showed some light on earlier pronouncements like:
  1. [6] Shakti Vahini vs Union of India, in this case it was held that the individual who are adult are not obstructed to take consent from their family or community or clan and their decision to get married is only priority.
  2. [7] Asha Ranjan vs state of Bihar, in this case it was held that dignity of an individual can only be maintained when he has choices to have of his own free will. "The choice of an individual is an inextricable part of dignity, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice." Such a right or choice is not expected to succumb to the concept of 'class honor' or 'group thinking.'
  3. [9] Shafin Jahan V. Ashokan K.M., the court observed that the society was emerging through a crucial transformational period.
  4. [10] K.S. Puttaswamy case, it was held that "where the autonomy of an individual inter alia in relation to family and marriage were held to be integral to the dignity of the individual." And also stated that right to marry a person of one's choice is an integral part of Article 21 and hence, they referred to the landmark judgement.

This was a great judgement for the cases in which individuals are dominated by their parents to get married with an individual of their choice. Parents still in present forces their child to marry someone of their choice and if child have chosen someone of their choice, they are forced to marry someone of their choice in early age or when they discover the choice of their child so that they can avoid situation and its outcomes in society. People are expected to comply with the norms set by the society and to take their decision in respect of their norms, if not people are banished or not accepted in the society.

After this judgment choosing partner of their choice and marry them are part of article 21 of constitution of India as choosing is a part having dignity in an individual's life.

In this case it was also discovered that the police officials exploits the power given by the government thinking that the police officials will use such power to provide convenience and help citizens and people in the country with problem and maintaining peace and order in country but in this case it was seen the police officer tried to threaten citizen of India just to get there formalities done.

It has many times seen not only in this case but also in real life that police officers exploits power just to gain benefits or to satisfy their ego. this behavior of police officers need to be stopped, it can be controlled if people become educated as this would help them knowing their rights and increase accountability in the system.

  1. Write petition (crl.) no. 359 of 2020
  2. CONST OF India art. 21
  3. Sriyanshi', LAXMIBAI CHANDARAGI B V. THE STATE OF KARNATAKA, lawfoyer (July 03, 2022)
  4. Sanjay Kishan Kaul', LAXMIBAI CHANDARAGI B V. THE STATE OF KARNATAK, Indian kanoon (February 08, 2021)
  5. Sanjay Kishan Kaul', LAXMIBAI CHANDARAGI B V. THE STATE OF KARNATAK, Indian kanoon (February 08, 2021)
  6. Shakti Vahini V. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 192
  7. Asha Ranjan V. State of Bihar, (2017) 4 SCC 397.
  8. Sanjay Kishan Kaul', LAXMIBAI CHANDARAGI B V. THE STATE OF KARNATAK, Indian kanoon (February 08, 2021)
  9. Shafin Jahan V. Ashokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 408.
  10. K.S. Puttaswamy (Privacy- 9J) V. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1.

Written By: Deepanshi Garg - Amity university, Uttar Pradesh

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