SC seeks reply from Delhi, Centre on DCW’s plea for protection to runaway couples

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday responded to a writ petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and issued a notice to the Centre, Delhi Police and the Delhi government, asking them to extend security to couples with inter-caste marriages who were facing threats from their families and social vigilante groups.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer asked them to file their responses within two weeks.

The DCW had filed a petition on behalf of six couples who were facing threats of honour killing and were rescued by the Commission from a shelter home run by Love Commandos, an NGO, after receiving complaints of large-scale extortion and abuse by the latter.

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“All the six runaway couples are above 18 years of age, hail from different states and have entered into inter-caste or inter-religious marriages with persons of their choice. Their marriages were opposed by their families/local community/khaps/others and they are facing severe threat from their own family members,” the DCW said in a statement.

In its writ petition, the Commission has sought urgent reliefs/directions to ensure the safety and security of these married couples and a safe house where they can stay together.

“For the time being, temporary stay of the couples has been ensured by the Commission. However, these couples require a proper safe place where they can stay together. DCW had written to the police who were unable to ensure the safe stay of these couples, that’s why the Commission had to interfere and approach the SC,” it added.

The Commission has informed the SC that there was no safe house for runaway couples in the state, due to which the DCW has temporarily made an arrangement for the six women in authorized shelter homes and for the men in temporary accommodations.

In its petition, the Commission has also suggested that safe houses for such couples should be ensured in all the districts of the country.


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