The Supreme Court Tuesday was told that the right to love and marriage was a part of the fundamental right to live and Kolkata policemen who allegedly acted in its violation in the Rizwanur Rahman-Priyanka Todi inter-religious marriage case should be punished.
Computer graphic teacher Rizwanur, who married businessman Ashok Todi’s daughter Priyanka in August 2007, was found dead on the railway tracks between Dumdum and Bidan Nagar police station in Kolkata Sep 21, 2007.
Kishwar Jahan, Rizwanur’s mother, told the Supreme court: “Whether (her son’s death was a) murder or suicide, it is a matter of investigation and I will have to accept it. Even if it is a suicide it is because of the pressure (brought on my son Rizwanur) and the abetment to suicide by the police and also by the Todis and they should not go unpunished.”
While reserving the verdict, the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said: “The allegation is that without a FIR (first information report) or complaint, the police called the couple and pressured them to enter into an agreement (by which Priyanka was taken back to her father to Todis’ home). Now it is a matter of investigation or disciplinary inquiry.”
The apex court was hearing a case related to the marriage of Rizwanur with Priyanka Aug 18, 2007 and his death later. Rizwanur allegedly invited the wrath of Todi for marrying his daughter as he was from a different religion.
There were allegations that Kolkata policemen acted at the instance of Todi and harassed Rizwanur.
In the wake of these allegations, a single judge of the Calcutta High Court Oct 16, 2007 ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which found Todi guilty of abetment to Rizwanur’s suicide.
On May 18, 2010, a division bench of the high court set aside the order of the single judge and ordered a fresh probe by the CBI, directing the registration of a murder case.
This order of the division bench of the high court was challenged in the apex court by all, including the CBI, Kishwar Jahan and Todi.