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"Entire Social Fabric Of Society Would Get Disturbed": P&H High Court Refuses To Grant Protection To A Live-In Couple

Sparsh Upadhyay
14 May 2021 5:42 AM GMT
Entire Social Fabric Of Society Would Get Disturbed: P&H High Court Refuses To Grant Protection To A Live-In Couple
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday (May 12) refused to grant protection to a live-in couple who allegedly faced threats from the girl's family since their elopement while noting that "if such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed.'"The Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal, in its order, noted,"Petitioner no.1 (Girl) is barely...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday (May 12) refused to grant protection to a live-in couple who allegedly faced threats from the girl's family since their elopement while noting that "if such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed.'"

The Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal, in its order, noted,

"Petitioner no.1 (Girl) is barely 18 years old whereas petitioner no.2 (Boy) is 21 years old. They claim to be residing together in a live-in relationship and claim protection of their life and liberty from the relatives of petitioner no.1 (Girl)."

Further, the Court opined,

"If such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed. Hence, no ground to grant the protection is made out."

In related news, in a protection plea filed by an interfaith couple, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed that the marriage between a Muslim woman and a Hindu man won't be valid as the bride didn't convert to Hindu religion before the solemnization of marriage in accordance with Hindu rites and ceremonies.

The Punjab & Haryana High Court on 10 March, 2021 registered its disapproval of 'new concept of contractual Live-In-Relation' backed by a deed, wherein parties state that their live-in-relationship is not 'Marital Relationship'.

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan had opined that "especially stating (in the deed) that it is not a 'Marital Relationship' is nothing but the misuse of the process of law as it cannot be morally accepted in society."

Further, the Punjab and Haryana HC last year held that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live together cannot be denied.

Noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in a live in relationship.

"Admittedly, he is a major. Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

Significantly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court last year remarked that a court hearing a Protection Petition filed by runaway couples need not preach on morality or human behavior.

A bench of Justice Rajiv Narayan Raina had made it clear that in such cases, the court should not present its personal views regarding morality, and must ensure that the couple's rights under Article 21 are protected.

"It is not for this Court in a protection petition to engage itself in social mores, norms and human behaviour or introduce personal ideas on morality."

Even in January 2020, the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms.

The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin had further reiterated that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live together cannot be denied.

Further, noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in a live-in relationship.

Case title - Ujjawal and another v. State of Haryana and others [CRWP-4268-2021(O&M)]

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