The Supreme Court today asked the Haryana police to provide security to a newly-wed couple against whom a ‘khap panchayat’ in Faridabad has issued diktat for having an inter-caste marriage.
A vacation bench of justices Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy also asked Haryana Police and its Delhi counterpart to file response within four weeks to the petition filed by the couple.
Ashish, working in the nephrology department of AIIMS and his wife Bharti, who claims to be a major, had moved the apex court seeking protection from their kin, apprehending threat to their lives for having an inter-caste marriage.
The petition, filed through lawyer Sugriv Dubey, said that the girl was an adult and had solemnised marriage with Ashish, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, in an Arya Samaj temple as per Hindu rites against the wishes of her family.
The girl, hailing from Haryana, was residing “happily with her husband in Faridabad”, the plea said and claimed that her parents, on the directions of a ‘khap panchayat’, were trying kill her and her husband.
Khap panchayats, prevalent in northern India, are village councils generally dominated by members of a single clan or caste.
The couple has claimed they had approached the police in Faridabad seeking protection, but did not get any support.
“The petitioner had intimated the SHO, Faridabad that they will be murdered as a khap of Haryana has decided to get them eliminated, but the police have not taken any step,” the plea alleged.
The petition of the Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal has been accepted by the Supreme Court to challenging a special court’s summons to him to appear before it as an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case here in New Delhi.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir posted the matter to 8 April.
Special court judge O.P. Saini had summoned Mittal to appear before him on 11 April on the grounds that as the head of BhartiAirtel when the alleged irregularities in spectrum allocation happened, he was responsible for his company’s actions and had knowledge of the allocation.
Saini has also summoned Essar Group vice-chairman Ravi Ruia, who was then a director in one of accused companies, Sterling Cellular Ltd, and Asim Ghosh, then managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd.
Their names were not mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation that’s probing the case. But Saini ruled that Mittal, Ruia and Ghosh were “prima facie” in “control of affairs” of their companies.
“As such, they represented the directing mind and will of companies and their state of mind was that of the companies,” the judge had said, adding, “They are/were ‘alter-ego’ of their respective companies.”
On 21 December, the CBI filed a chargesheet against former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh and Bharti, Hutchison and Sterling (now part of Vodafone India Ltd), but didn’t name any individuals.