While hearing a plea filed by an interfaith couple, Punjab and Haryana High Court has opined that dispute regarding the validity of marriage cannot be a ground for denial of protection to the couple facing threats from the relatives.
The observations were made by Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri while hearing a plea filed by an inter-religion couple seeking police protection.
“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,” noted Justice Puri.
The court ordered the concerned police officer to look into the representation of the couple and to ensure protection of their life and liberty.
The counsel appearing for petitioners submitted that petitioner no. 1 is 21 years of age and petitioner no.2 is 22 years of age, and both of them are of marriageable age. He further added that the couple married each other out of their free consent. It was also submitted before the court that petitioner number 1 was earlier a Muslim and later converted into Hindu religion.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that even if the marriage between the petitioner’s inter-se was not valid, the right of protection of life and liberty is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and, therefore, necessary directions should be issued to protect the lives of petitioners.
Agreeing to the argument, the High Court disposed of the plea and clarified, “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.”
Punjab and Haryana High Court was in news recently for a few conflicting orders in connection to the validity of live-in relationships and whether State authorities can grant police protection to such couples.