Merely because the boy is not of marriageable age, the right of a major couple to live-together can't be denied

Priyapreet Kaur and Another Vs State Of Punjab and Others

Punjab and Haryana HC

23/12/2020

CRWP-10828-2020 (O&M)

About/from the judgment:

The HC has recently held that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live-together cannot be denied.

Noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in a live in relationship.

"Admittedly, he is a major. Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

"The petitioners, both being major, have decided to live together in a live-in relationship and there possibly may not be any legally justifiable reason for the respondents to object to the same"
, said the Court.

The Court was hearing a criminal writ petition for enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6.

Facts in brief

Both the petitioners before the Court are major and have known each other from the last one year and want to marry each other.

However, when the parents of petitioner No.1 (Woman) became aware of their relationship, fights took place between the families.

Allegedly, the parents of petitioner No.1 gave her severe beatings and decided to marry her against her wishes, confined her into a room, snatched her mobile phone and threatened to kill her if she kept any kind of relationship with petitioner No.2 (Man).

The Woman left her home on 20.12.2020 to reside with the Man, who has not attained marriageable age and they are living in a live-in relationship.

However, their relationship is not acceptable to respondent Nos.4 to 6 (relatives of Woman) and they are threatening the petitioners with dire consequences.

The counsel for the petitioners contended that the life and liberty of the petitioners is in grave danger at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6 (relatives of Woman).

It was further contended that the petitioners have also moved a representation to the Senior Superintendent of Police, District Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, however, no action took place.

Court's Observations

The Court, in its order remarked,

"She is well within her right to decide for herself what is good for her and what is not. She has decided to take a step to be in a live-in-relationship with petitioner No.2 who is also major, though may not be of a marriageable age. Be that as it may, the fact remains that both the petitioners in the present case are major and have a right to live their life on their own terms."

The Court further said,

"The private respondent Nos.4 to 6 being family members of petitioner No.1, who is a major, cannot dictate to petitioner No.1 how and with whom she chooses to spend her life…The petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life. The Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to life and the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life."

While taking into account the fact that the Man is not of marriageable age, the Court said. In view of the above, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Fatehgarh Sahib was directed to decide the representation dated 20.12.2020 and take necessary action as per law.

Read the Judgment

Knowledge and content of about almost all their respective descriptions are borrowed from law-related blogs and websites, we, therefore, wish to give proper credit to all the respective law-related blogs and websites like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench, LatestLaws, PathLegal, FirstLaw, Lawctopus, IndianKanoon, Manupatra, LegallyIndia etc.. Many of the judgments are also taken from them websites of Hon'ble Supreme Court and other respective Hon'ble High Courts!

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