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Girl yet to attain marriageable age cannot be deprived of fundamental rights: Punjab and Haryana High Court

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Chandigarh Sept 10 (ILNS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday held that the mere fact that petitioner-girl is not of marriageable age would not deprive her of the fundamental right.

A Single Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill passed this order while hearing a Criminal writ petition filed by Minor girl and another.

The Petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for directing respondents (Police) to protect the life and liberty of the Petitioners from the hands of private respondents(Parents, Relatives).

Counsel for the Petitioners submitted that his clients are a couple, the petitioner No. 2 (boy) is major, age of petitioner No. 1 (girl) is 17 years and 10 months and want to marry each other after attaining the age of majority of the girl, but the family members of petitioner No. 1 are against their relationship.

The Counsel further submitted that both the Petitioners have been living together in live-in relationship at the boy’s house but are facing threat from the family members of the girl. The couple have also moved a representation on August 30, 2021 to the police asking them to address this issue.

Counsel for the petitioners further submitted that the couple is living in a constant danger as they have every apprehension that the parents would catch them and carry out their threats and might go to the extent of even committing their murder. The petitioners are, therefore, running from pillar to post for protection of their life and liberty.

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. It is the bounden duty of the State as per the Constitutional obligations cast upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen, the Court said.

“Mere fact that the girl is not of a marriageable age would not deprive the Petitioners of their fundamental right as envisaged in the Constitution, being citizens of India. Without commenting upon the marital status or live-in relationship of the Petitioners, I dispose of the petition with directions to Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur to decide the representation dated August 30, 2021, moved by the Petitioners, in accordance with law and grant protection to them, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived”, the Court ordered.
The Court said that, it is made clear that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners from legal action for violation of law if any are committed by them./ILNS/AP/SNG

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