14 Jun 2021 5:05 AM GMT
Dealing with the protection plea of a Live-In-couple, who are yet to attain the marriageable age, the Punjab & Haryana High Court recently remarked that majority of petitions by the Live-In couples contain formal symbolic averments, grounds with imaginary cause of action, and are rarely founded upon 'actual' or 'real' existence of threat.The Bench of Justice Manoj Bajaj was hearing the...
Dealing with the protection plea of a Live-In-couple, who are yet to attain the marriageable age, the Punjab & Haryana High Court recently remarked that majority of petitions by the Live-In couples contain formal symbolic averments, grounds with imaginary cause of action, and are rarely founded upon 'actual' or 'real' existence of threat.
The Bench of Justice Manoj Bajaj was hearing the plea of one Daya Ram [20 years old] and Reenu [14 years old], who claimed that they knew each other for the last one year and with the passage of time, they fell in love, however, the parents of Reenu are opposing their relationship.
It was submitted by them that they are mature enough to understand good and bad and decided to marry, but their proposal was turned down by the parents and the other relatives of Reenu.
It was further argued that they were left with no other alternative but to live together in live-in-relationship and to date, there has been no physical intimacy between the petitioners as they are waiting to attain the statutory marriageable age, therefore, they argued that the private respondents have no right to interfere in their life.
At the outset, the Court observed that fror the last few years, society has been experiencing profound changes in social values, especially amongst exuberant youngsters, who seldom in pursuit of absolute freedom, leave the company of their parents, etc. to live with the person of their choice, and further, they try to get the seal of the court to their alliance, by filing petitions for protection by posing threat to their life and liberty.
Importantly, the Court said:
"Such petitions are ordinarily based on the sole ground of apprehension of threat predicted against the disapproving parents or other close relatives of the girl only, as the decision of the couple is rarely opposed by the family members of the boy. Their right to live together is either based on their sudden, secretive and small destination marriage or upon live-in-relationship."
However, the Court did note that the aggrieved persons can avail the alternative remedy, but the Court observed that a large number of petitions land in the lap of this court as according to writ petitions, the alternative remedy is less felicitous.
"These types of cases consume the considerable time of this court, that too at the cost of many other cases waiting in line for hearing," the Court added.
The Court also opined that the concept of live-in-relationship between two adults of opposite gender has got recognition in India also, as the legislature has injected some legitimacy in this kind of alliance, while promulgating "Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005" and liberally defined "domestic relationship" in Section 2(f).
However, the Court did add that despite this elasticity, some sections of the society are reluctant to accept such kinds of relationships.
Lastly, the Court remarked thus:
"Merely because the two adults are living together for few days, their claim of live-in-relationship based upon bald averment may not be enough to hold that they are truly in live-in-relationship"
In this matter, the Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Sirsa to depute a responsible police officer to ensure that the custody of the minor girl is restored to her parents after coordinating with the State of Rajasthan police.
Before parting, the Court also opined that despite the penal provisions are in place through the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, but child marriages are taking place in violation of the provisions of the said Act and thus, the High Court declined to provide them protection, and the writ petition was dismissed while noting that that the issue to eradicate child marriage menace needs to be considered by the State.
Case Title - Daya Ram & another v. State of Haryana & others
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