Terming the interference by Khap Panchayats in marriages between adults as absolutely illegal, the Supreme Court directed the government to come up with a law.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said that attempts to scuttle a marriage between two consenting adults are illegal.
The court which laid down guidelines to protect couples and also to stop interference by Khaps or any panchayat said that the same would be in force until the government frames a law.
The court also said that an adult boy or girl can get into marriages of their choice and no panchayat, khap, individual, parents or society can question it.
The court said that no panchayat or khap can summon an adult boy or girl for a marriage alliance of their choice and punish them. The amicus curiae in the case, Ramachandran said that the law commission had recommended enacting a law to protect couples going in for inter-caste marriages.
The Supreme Court reiterated that when two consenting adults get married, no relative or assembly can oppose it through violence or threats. While reserving the verdict on the issue, the court said that it would not refer to caste, gothra or village panchayats as khap in its verdict.
The Centre had told the court that those couples who fear for their lives from relatives or khaps must inform the marriage officer at the time of registering their marriages. The officer, in turn, could intimate the police to give protection to the couples, the Centre also said. The Centre also said that threats to any two adults married out of their own choice should be dealt with a law and order issue. Law and order squarely fall under the domain of the state government, the Centre also said.