10 May 2022 2:32 PM GMT
Punjab and Haryana High Court while dealing with a petition seeking protection of life and personal liberty, held that the Constitutional right of protection cannot be abridged, except as per the manner established by law. The Constitutional right of protection cannot be abridged, except in a manner permitted by law. The bench comprising Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj held that the...
Punjab and Haryana High Court while dealing with a petition seeking protection of life and personal liberty, held that the Constitutional right of protection cannot be abridged, except as per the manner established by law.
The Constitutional right of protection cannot be abridged, except in a manner permitted by law.
The bench comprising Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj held that the Supreme Court has time and time again observed that it is not the Court's domain to intervene in the matters of choice or suitability of a marriage/relationship of an individual.
The court further relied on the Supreme Court's judgment of Shafin Jahan Vs. Asokan K.M. (Criminal Appeal No.366 of 2018) and held that the relief under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be denied merely because an offense under the IPC has been committed by the person.
The relief of protection of life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be denied to a citizen merely because he happens to commit an offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
Court further added that every citizen is entitled to the protection of his life and liberty even though he may be a hardened criminal. Such protection of law cannot be denied except by the operation of law.
Every citizen of the country is entitled to protection of his life and liberty under the Constitution of India even though he may be a hardened criminal or may have committed any other offence. Such protection of law cannot be denied to a person except where the rights of the person or his liberties are to be denied to him by operation of law or in a procedure known to law.
After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the court stated that substituting the matrimonial or relationship choice of a major is not what courts should do, and conflict or a personal conviction should not overshadow statutory and constitutional rights.
The conflict or a personal conviction of a Court should not overshadow the statutory and constitutional rights of an individual and rise beyond the constitutional morality that the Courts are bound to protect.
Court placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration & Others, reported in (1978) 4 SCC 409 and Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab & Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., reported in (2012) 9 SCC 1 and held that in addition to the Courts' responsibility to uphold the principles of constitutional morality, there exists a parallel duty to not infringe the personal relationship between two willing adults.
Court further added that individual autonomy cannot be allowed to be hampered by societal expectations and public morality cannot be allowed to overshadow constitutional morality.
This Court finds itself firmly tied down to the principle of individual autonomy, which cannot be hampered by societal expectations in a vibrant democracy. The State's respect for the individual independent choices has to be held high. The public morality cannot be allowed to overshadow the constitutional morality, particularly when the legal tenability of the right to protection is paramount.
The court concluded that there exists a duty of the State to protect and safeguard all fundamental rights unless taken away by due process of law and there can be no reasonable nexus to not grant the same protection to those involved in a "legal/illegal relationships".
For the reasons stated above, the court directed the Superintendent of Police to take appropriate action for the protection of the lives and liberty of the petitioners.
Case Title: SUNITA AND ANOTHER Vs STATE OF HARYANA AND OTHERS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 100
Advocate for the petitioners: Mr. Rajesh Duhan
Advocate for the respondents : Mr. Ashish Yadav, Additional AG Haryana. Mr. R.K. Agnihotri,
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