A recent Supreme Court observation has brought out the often clandestine topic of love out in the open. The apex court observed that girls in India usually sacrifice romantic relationships to satisfy their parents.

The court’s comment came in a case against a man who was facing murder charges for the death of his secretly-wedded wife whose family never approved of their marriage. The accused married the deceased in 1995.

“Such a reaction on the part of a girl to sacrifice her love and accept a decision of her parents, even though unwillingly, is a common phenomenon in this country,” said the SC bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, NDTV reported.

It is alleged that the woman was 23 years old when the both she and the appellant fell in love and decided to get married. But due to their caste differences, the girl’s family opposed their relationship. This apparently triggered both the lovers to attempt suicide and they consumed Copper Sulphate in an under-construction building in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The accused told the court that the amount of chemical he had consumed was lesser than his partner who then started reacting to the chemical. He ran out to gather help. When he returned, he found her hanging from the ceiling. She was brought dead to the hospital.

The court agreed with the man’s version and noted that both the man and the woman were in love as the latter’s father had testified to the court that he objected to their alliance because of caste differences.

The accused was held innocent by the court and his statement was considered “plausible”. He also told the SC that the woman was badly treated by her family when she was alive because of their relationship.

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“When she was madly in love with the appellant (man) and wanted to marry him, there is a possibility that after receiving such kind of shabby treatment at the hands of her parents, in anguish she may have decided to revolt and, therefore, proposed to the appellant that they should get married for which they chose a secluded place,” the bench noted in its order.

The court also observed the other side of the story, which is that of a jilted lover where one partner kills the other in an understanding that if the other partner cannot be theirs, they cannot belong to anyone else. But the family could not produce any evidence to support this analogy.

“This might be the motive in the mind of appellant (man). However, whether events turned in this way is anybody’s guess as no evidence of this nature has surfaced. It is not even possible for the prosecution to state any such thing as whatever actually happened was only known to two persons, one of whom is dead and other is in dock,” the court said.

However, the SC said that these criminal cases cannot be judged on the basis of hypothesis and there are no concrete evidences against the accused. So, the SC set aside the life sentence awarded by the trial court and later upheld by the Rajasthan High Court.

Picture credit- GMB Aakash