Allahabad High Court directs inquiry, punitive action against cops accused of assaulting woman having intercaste marriage

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The Allahabad High Court recently ordered inquiry and punitive action against three police officers accused of brutally assaulting a woman who had performed intercaste marriage against her family's will. 

The bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi said, "This is an unacceptable situation where the police personnel who are said to be protector have become attacker(s)."

In this light, Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Varanasi to inquire into the matter and ordered that if the allegation of assault is found to be true, punitive action against the erring officers shall be taken within ten days from the date of the order.

Court was dealing with a habeas corpus petition filed by the 24-year-old woman's husband alleging that she was in illegal custody of her brothers. As per the plea, the woman namely Kavita Gupta, who is pursuing her M.A. from Banaras Hindu University, had married one Mahesh Kumar Vishwakarma. 

In pursuance of court's earlier order, when the woman was produced before the court, she apprised the court that during her studies she developed a certain amount of tender relationship with Vishwakarma, and both of them got married in April last year in a temple. Later on, they got the marriage registered too. 

She further alleged that her brothers were very cruel to her because she got married against their wish and desire but when Court inquired from the brother about such cruel treatment, they denied. 

Also, Gupta woefully stated that on April 26, 2021 she was brutally assaulted by Abhishek Kumar, In-charge, Police Chowki-Khajuri, Police Station-Mirza Murad, District-Varanasi and two lady constables, accompanied with him.

Taking note of Gupta's submissions, Court ordered the inquiry against the accused police officers. Further, regarding the ill-treatment of the brother of the woman, Court directed, 

"So far as the brothers of corpus, named above, are concerned, they are required to severe all relationship with their sister and not to harass or ill-treat her just because she got married with a boy of her own choice."

Since the woman was facing threats from her brothers regarding the safety and security of herself, her husband and her in-laws, Court further directed the S.S.P., Varanasi and S.H.O., P.S.-Raja Talab, Varanasi to provide adequate security and keep a close vigil over the safety and security of the woman and her in-laws. 

Lastly, noting that Gupta is a major, Court said that if she decides to go with her husband, she has all rights and liberty to do so. The plea got disposed off with aforesaid directions. 

Case Title: Kavita Gupta (Corpus) v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others