While we are called adults as soon as we turn 18, our families and society cannot digest the fact that we also have the freedom to choose our life partner from that age onward.
In what can be termed as a scathing attack on Khap Panchayats and other communal assemblies carrying out honour killings in the name of caste and religion, Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgement.
According to a report by NDTV, three judge bench of the Supreme Court has ruled that any attempt by Khap Panchayats or any other assembly to scuttle or prevent two consenting adults from marrying is absolutely “illegal”.
The court also ruled that, consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock. The couple's consent has to be given primacy.
What is noteworthy in this judgement is that the apex court has recognized Right to choose a life partner as an essential component of right to a dignified life guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. These articles deal with the Right to Freedom and Right to Personal Liberty.
Now when this right has the sanction of constitutional law, it needs to be respected and protected.
The apex court has also issued preventive as well as punitive guidelines till the Centre and State governments come out with a strong law to deal with honour killings.