“UP Mein Chalta Hoga Yaha Nahin” (It might work in Uttar Pradesh, won’t work here) said the Delhi High Court while rebuking the Uttar Pradesh police today for arresting two family members of a man who had married a woman against the wishes of her family. The couple are adults who married out of their own free will in July and were getting repeated threats from the woman’s family. “Somebody comes to you, and you go to arrest people without confirming her age? Whether she is minor or a major?”, the court said.
The father and brother of the man were arrested and taken away from Delhi by UP’s Shamli police without informing the Delhi Police about it. Their whereabouts were allegedly not known for a month after the arrest. “It is trite law that the father and brother of the petitioner No. 2 could not be apprehended by U.P. Police and taken from Delhi without informing Delhi Police,” the court observed.
Delhi police informed the court that the arrests were made on September 8 following a complaint made by the woman’s mother.
“One fails to understand when petitioner No.1 is major and has left her parental home of her own free will and married to petitioner No. 2 how an offence under Section 366 IPC (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) and a consequential offence under Section 368 IPC (Wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person) is made out,” the court order stated.
Justice Mukta Gupta, while hearing a petition by the couple, said that the court will review CCTV footage and will ensure that there is a departmental enquiry against UP police personnel if they have arrested the man’s family members from Delhi.
The court has issued notice to the Station House Officer of the Shamli police station to be personally present on October 28 along with the case file.