Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the instant petition filed by a runaway couple seeking protection from arrest and bodily harm that they apprehend, can be caused by the police and the private respondents respectively, the Bench of Rajiv Narain Raina, J., held that in matters such as one raised in the instant petition, the Courts should abstain itself from evaluation of social norms and introduction of personal ideas related to social morality.
The matter was taken up via video conferencing due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It was contended by the counsel for the respondents that the petitioner is minor. The Court also noted that the petitioners have already submitted their Aadhar Card as proof of their majority, thereby rebutting the respondent’s claim.
Disposing off the petition, the Court referred to Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475 and observed that since the petitioner’s prayer for protection is based on Article 21 of the Constitution, therefore it is necessary that the police attends to the matter in all earnestness and ensures that adequate protection is provided to the petitioners from any kind of bodily injury and harm. The Court further noted that, even if it assumes that the petitioner girl is minor, under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 marriage of a minor girl is not void, but voidable upon reaching the marriageable age. [Sumanpreet Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 694, decided on 12-05-2020]