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Validity Of Marriage Not A Ground For Denial Of Protection Of Couple's Life & Liberty: Punjab & Haryana High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 May 2021 5:56 AM GMT
Validity Of Marriage Not A Ground For Denial Of Protection Of Couples Life & Liberty: Punjab & Haryana High Court
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reaffirmed that in protection petitions, questions surrounding validity of the marriage cannot be a ground for denial of protection of the couple's life and liberty. A Single Bench of Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri has held, "The scope of the present petition is only regarding the protection of life and liberty of the petitioners and, therefore,...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reaffirmed that in protection petitions, questions surrounding validity of the marriage cannot be a ground for denial of protection of the couple's life and liberty.

A Single Bench of Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri has held,

"The scope of the present petition is only regarding the protection of life and liberty of the petitioners and, therefore, the validity of the marriage cannot be a ground for denial of such protection."

The position was settled by a Division Bench of the High Court in 2014 in the case of Rajwinder Kaur & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors., where it was held that marriage is not a must for security to be provided to a runaway couple; the police authorities were directed to ensure that no harm was caused by anyone to the life and liberty of the couple.

The Petitioners in this case, a woman aged 21 and a man aged 22 submitted that they had married each other out of their free consent and although the woman was earlier Muslim by religion, she got converted into Hindu religion and, therefore, got married to petitioner no.2.

It was stated that the private respondents were opposed to their marriage and, therefore, there is an acute threat at the hands of private respondents

They contended that even if their marriage inter-se is not valid, the right of protection of life and liberty is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

In view of the above submissions, the Single Bench ordered:

"it is directed that the respondent No.3 shall look into the representation (Annexure P-4) and if so required shall ensure the protection of life and liberty of the petitioners pertaining to their lives. It is made clear that the present directions are being issued only for the purpose of protection of life and liberty of the petitioners and does not reflect anything whatsoever on the validity of the marriage."

A large number of protection petitions are filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a daily basis. A Single Bench had thus suggested these cases be heard by the subordinate courts, so as to unburden the High Court.

Recently, another Single Bench of the High Court called upon the executive authorities to take the responsibility of offering protection to the lives of such couples, so that burden on Courts is reduced.

In latest development, the Punjab Government informed the Court that a working mechanism is proposed whereby within 24 hours of receiving of the grievances by runaway couples apprehending threat to their lives, the same would be forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner who with the help of the Committee or the SSP concerned assess the threat perception within 48 hours and do the needful immediately thereafter.

The Government also mentioned that there is a State Level Grievance Redressal Portal already existing. A new tab would be specifically created for assistance of the couples seeking protection.

Also Read: Live-In Relationships May Not Be Acceptable To All But Living Together Without Marrying Doesn't Constitute An Offence: P&H High Court

Case Title: Farzana Begam @ Aman & Anr. v. State Of Punjab & Ors.

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