Madras HC: Casual Arrests Of Boy’s Relatives In Elopement Cases Should Be Avoided

While listening to a case concerning the eloping of a 17 year old girl with a 19 year old boy, the Madras High 15th March, 2018 said that there should be no casual arrests of parents and relatives of boys in elopement cases involving underage couples, because it would amount to a “social wrong” at the hands of the police.
Generally the term ‘elopement’ is used for describing any marriage performed in haste, with a limited public engagement period or without a public engagement period. It usually involves a hurried flight away from one’s place of residence together with the intention of getting married.
This decision was given by the bench of Justice C.T. Selvam and Justice N. Satish Kumar were listening to the case of elopement by an underage couple were a case was registered by the girl’s parents, and the boy’s mother was arrested, and was locked at Central Prison for Women, Salem.
Taking a very stern view on the matter, the court ordered that the boy’s mother be released immediately and also cautioned the police against such arrests observing, “As this court notes that all too frequently parents and relatives of boys are without, a second thought, arrayed as accused in cases registered on boys and girls going missing and most commonly owing to love affairs and they immediately are taken into custody, In many a case, this would amount to a social wrong at the hands of the Police Agency, who very raison-de-etre is serving a social cause.”
The high court also directed that a copy of this order to be forwarded to the Director General of Police, to sensitize the force “against wrongful action” in such matters. The court also clarified that this order must not be considered as an inviolable rule, and the nexus behind this decision is that careful examination of all circumstances before taking such steps should be done. This decision would no where mean that relatives and parents cannot be arrested in matters related to eloping involving underage couples, but it would only mean that casual arrests with any proper investigation will not be allowed. The court only wanted impress upon the need of care and caution before making such arrests

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