The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday remarked that the protection petitions filed before it by runaway couples is "the most demeaning childlike work High Court Judges have been forcibly tasked with..."
While allowing the plea for protection filed by a Jalandhar-based couple, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina suggested that such cases should instead be heard by the subordinate courts, so as to unburden the High Court.
"I believe it to be the most demeaning childlike work High Court Judges have been forcibly tasked with by a creation of the ingenious Bar and a solution needs to be devised to caste the burden on some other alternative mechanism of redress including by amending the law and conferring such power on the subordinate judiciary etc."
He however clarified that the observations were merely suggestive and it is for the legislature to find solutions, if required or deemed expedient.
Justice Raina also criticized the practice of attaching marriage photographs with such petitions.
"Photographs are not proof of marriage neither is a Court concerned with the marriage in this jurisdiction. The Court is only concerned about the identity of the petitioners in these cases which can be traced back," he said.
"For these there are Aadhar cards and other official photo identification and passport size photographs of both etc. would be sufficient compliance which are to be placed on record duly authenticated by the petitioners," the court added.
Justice Raina observed that processing of these photos was actually a "big burden" on the High Court and drained the resources of its Registry from the filing stage to uploading the order.
"Time has come to trim them to the basic demands of pleadings," he thus remarked while directing the HC Registry to stop entertaining any annexures containing photographs of couples as evidence or proof of marriage and demand an affidavit of necessity, explaining the purpose they are important to the prayer, from the counsel [but not the petitioners] because lawyers advice clients of steps to be taken for presentation of petitions.
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