Being forced to Marry

I am a 22 year old boy. A girl who is 17 yrs old ran away from her home. She called me to delhi n then i was with her in meerut, dehradun, mussoorie, and I was taking her back to home but she didn't came with me n ran away. After that i returned to the city her parents n police keep torturing me . After 15 days she backs to her home now they are forcing me to marry her. What should I do? I don't want to marry her. There was no sexual intercourse between us.

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Answer by Anina D’Cunha, Lawfarm Researcher:
Girls under the age of 18 years and boys under the age of 21 years cannot legally marry in India.
Since you have mentioned that the police are involved in forcing your marriage, filing for complaint to the police may be difficult. You can seek the help of social workers, telling them that you are being forced to marry against your will. According to Article 23(c) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, no marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the persons getting married.
The Delhi High Court in Vishal Yadav v. State Of U.P[1] has said the right to choose one’s life partner is a fundamental right, it is an integral part of the right to life (Article 21 of the Constitution). An individual’s right to choice of marriage and dignity are essential parts of right to life guaranteed under the Constitution. One may file a writ petition to enforce one’s fundamental rights. Writs (under Article 32- Supreme Court and under Article 226-High Courts) are available against a private person as well as the state. The writ of habeas corpus is available for the release from private detention of a person if they were wrongfully detained by anyone without their consent. Therefore even if they restrain you in anyway forcing you to marry, a writ of habeas corpus can be filed by your family.
Further it is advised that you must procure evidence to prove that the girl’s family and the police are intimidating you. Based on this evidence you can file a complaint before the police. Even if the daughter’s family has involved the police it is not possible for them to involve the entire police force. You can file a complaint in a Police Station in your vicinity and if you have substantial evidence proving that the girl’s family or a police officer is using illegal means to get your consent, the Police might be compelled to file a case against the concerned person.
[1] Crl.A.Nos.741, 910/2008 & 145/2012, 2nd April, 2014

Answered on May 19, 2016.
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