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Boy not being of marriageable age doesn't deprive live-in couple of right to life
Sapna and anr Vs State of Punjab and ors
Punjab and Haryana HC
About/from the judgment:
The High Court recently observed that a couple in a live-in relationship is not deprived of right to life and liberty merely because one of them is not of marriageable age under law.
The Court said that it is the bounden duty of the State to protect the life and liberty of every citizen.
"Mere fact that petitioner No. 2 is not of marriageable age, would not deprive the petitioners of their fundamental right as envisaged in the Constitution, being citizens of India," the Court said.
It, therefore, proceeded to order the Punjab Police to take appropriate action on the representation by a live-in couple seeking protection from their parents who, the petitioners alleged, were threatening them.
The petitioners had approached the Court seeking protection to life after they received threats from their parents who were opposing their relationship.
The couple were both adults and in a live-in relationship but the boy was not yet 21, the marriageable age for men.
They had submitted representations to the police for protection which went unheeded.
It was alleged that no action was taken by the Gurdaspur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).
In fact, the counsel for the petitioners alleged that they are living in constant danger as they even risk getting murdered, and are thus running from pillar to post to protect their life and liberty.
The petitioners sought a writ of mandamus to be issued to the Punjab Police to protect their life and liberty against the fear of ill-treatment from their parents.
Their counsel relied on the Supreme Court decision in upon Nandakumar and Anr. Vs. The State of Kerala and others', in which the top court had held that a couple has the right to live together even outside of wedlock. Further, live-in relationships are recognized by the legislature, it was submitted.
The single-judge concurred with the argument, stating that right to life and liberty of every citizen has to be protected.
"Article 21 of the Constitution stipulates protection of life and liberty to every citizen and that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law," the Court said.
It directed the SSP to decide the representation moved by the petitioners, in accordance with law, and grant protection to them against threats to their life and liberty.
"It is made clear that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners from legal action for violation of law if any committed by them," the Court clarified.
Read the Judgment
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