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Couple Claims 'Saptapadi' Performance By Lighting Fire In A Utensil: P&H HC Imposes 25K Cost Noting 'No Valid Marriage' In Protection Plea

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 Oct 2021 4:46 PM GMT
Couple Claims Saptapadi Performance By Lighting Fire In A Utensil: P&H HC Imposes 25K Cost Noting No Valid Marriage In Protection Plea
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently imposed Rs. 25K cost on a couple while hearing their plea protection plea, wherein they had claimed that they were married as they had exchanged garlands and had performed "saptapadi" (Saat Phere) by lighting fire in a utensil in a hotel room.Noting that there was no 'valid marriage' and that the petitioners had tried to mislead the Court, the Bench...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently imposed Rs. 25K cost on a couple while hearing their plea protection plea, wherein they had claimed that they were married as they had exchanged garlands and had performed "saptapadi" (Saat Phere) by lighting fire in a utensil in a hotel room.

Noting that there was no 'valid marriage' and that the petitioners had tried to mislead the Court, the Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill, however, directed the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula to look into the matter and their representation seeking protection.

The matter in brief

Petitioner No.1 (Girl) aged 20 years and petitioner No.2 (Boy) aged 19 years and 5 months had approached the Court seeking protection of their lives and liberty apprehending threat at the hands of respondents No.4 to 8 (relatives of petitioner No.1), having married against their wishes.

They claimed that they solemnized marriage on September 26, 2021, after running away from their homes, however, neither any marriage certificate was annexed nor any photographs of the marriage were annexed by them in their plea.

In view of this, the Court gave them an opportunity to furnish the requisite information regarding their marriage, and therefore, they submitted in court that they had stayed in a hotel and there in the room itself, the Boy had applied vermilion (sindoor) on the forehead of girl, had exchanged garlands and "saptapadi" was performed by lighting fire in a utensil.

However, it was also submitted therein that no sermons were chanted by anyone while "saptapadi" was performed.

Court's observations

The Court, at the outset, noted that the petitioner No.2 (Boy) was not of marriageable age and that they had attempted to mislead the Court by stating that they have solemnized the marriage.

"The aforesaid explanation appears to be an attempt to cover up the fact that in fact there was no valid marriage amongst the petitioners though it has been stated so in the petition," the Court further added.

In view of this, underscoring that the petitioners didn't approach the Court with clean hands and have rather made an attempt to mislead the Court, the Court burdened the petitioners with costs of `25,000/- to be paid in High Court Legal Services Committee.

However, since the petitioners apprehend a threat to their lives and liberty, the Court stressed that it can't shirk from its duties to secure and protect the lives and liberty of the petitioners, and therefore, the petition was disposed of with a direction to the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula to look into the matter and their representation.

"In case, it is found that there is a genuine threat to the lives and liberty of the petitioners, then necessary steps warranted under law be taken thereupon at the earliest so as to ensure that no harm is caused to the petitioners," the Court directed.

Case Title - Aarti and another v. State of Haryana and others

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