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Protection Plea: Income, Property, Minor Children Details Made Mandatory By P&H High Court In Case Of Subsisting Marriage Of Petitioner(s)

Sparsh Upadhyay
20 Nov 2021 3:21 PM GMT
Protection Plea: Income, Property, Minor Children Details Made Mandatory By P&H High Court In Case Of Subsisting Marriage Of Petitioner(s)
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In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made the filing of the declaration (by petitioners filing protection pleas) regarding the status of minor children from the first marriage, if any, details of the moveable, and immoveable property as well as income, as mandatory.Significantly, this declaration has been made mandatory for all protection pleas where the party...

In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made the filing of the declaration (by petitioners filing protection pleas) regarding the status of minor children from the first marriage, if any, details of the moveable, and immoveable property as well as income, as mandatory.

Significantly, this declaration has been made mandatory for all protection pleas where the party alleges that they are in a live-in relationship despite subsisting marriage or where it is alleged that the petitioners have performed the second marriage.

The order by the Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan came in a protection plea filed by one Saddam, aged about 33 years, and Tahira, aged about 25 years, claiming to have married each other. It was also submitted that it is the second marriage of both the petitioners.

Background of the case

Earlier, on June 29, 2021, the police authorities were directed to assess the threat perception to the petitioners and act in accordance with the law, and an observation was made in the said order that it is without commenting upon the validity or otherwise of the marriage.

Thereafter, the first legally wedded wife of petitioner No.1 (Saddam) placed on record the details of five children, who were born out of the wedlock of Sarmina with Saddam, submitting that she had been left at the mercy of God, and Saddam had refused to maintain her and five minor children aged between 1½ year to 11 years.

It was further submitted that petitioner No.2 (Tahira) was also earlier married and she was also having a child from the said wedlock and so-called marriage between the petitioners (Saddam & Tahira) was illegal and was not acceptable under the law.

Court's observations 

The Court, at the outset, observed that the question which arises before it is- whether, in such cases, the Court should pass an order like a post office by forwarding the same to the police authorities by making an observation that without commenting upon the validity or otherwise of the marriage, threat perception should be seen, or to the contrary, the Court added, on the application of judicial mind, in a given case, rights of a legally wedded wife like petitioner No.1 as well as five minor children should be protected and taken care of by the Court being their guardian in the exercise of powers under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Against this backdrop, the Court observed that it is the duty of the Court to ensure that Sarmina (first wife of Saddam) and her five minor children are not left at mercy of the God and should get proper education and stay in the mainstream of the society and for the purpose of survival, they may not become a hardcore criminal or adopt illegal means for survival.

In view of the above, while exercising the suo motu power under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 Cr.P.C., the Court disposed of the plea with the following direction to the Deputy Commissioner/Superintendent of Police, Nuh (Mewat):

"...attach the land of petitioner No.1 (Saddam) and direct Tehsildar, Nuh to ensure that from the sale proceeds of the said land, 1/4th amount is paid to Sarmina so as to enable her to take care of her minor children so that they may stay in the mainstream of the society and may not become hardcore criminals, to earn their livelihood or to survive by illegal means."

Lastly, the Registrar General was directed to ensure thus:

"In all the protection petitions, where a party alleges that they are in a live-in relationship despite subsisting marriage or where it is alleged that the petitioners have performed the second marriage, a declaration be made regarding the status of minor children from the first marriage and by giving details of the moveable and immoveable property, as well as income of the petitioners, be made, explaining the manner, in which the petitioner(s) will take care of minor children for their upbringing, education, etc."

It is directed that w.e.f. 01.02.2022 onwards, before passing all such or similar protection petitions, the aforesaid conditions be complied with, the Court concluded by disposing of the plea. The compliance report has been called by the Court within a period of three months.

Case title - Saddam and another v. State of Haryana and others

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