P&H HC | Registry to not entertain protection petitions with photographs of runaway couples attached unless an affidavit is filed for its’ necessity

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Rajiv Narain Rana, J., while addressing with a protection petition, wherein photographs of their marriage are also attached in the petition, stated that,

High Court was not built or meant for this parasitical non-litigation.

Petitioners reached the Court for protection of their life as they got married against their parents wishes and thus they wanted to be protected against harassment from anyone.

In view of the above, their request pertained to a direction to the Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar, Punjab to take steps consistent with their safety.

When the stated issue appeared before the Court, Bench asked the counsel —

where was the need to attach photos of the ceremony when the person performing the rites was not in the picture and neither was the Court interested to look at them in a protection petition by a runaway couple.

For the above raised question of the need to attach photos, Registry responded that it raised no objections if the photographs are not attached. But if they are appended and not visible or clear enough to the eye, then the objection is raised, which objection has substance in the context.

Thus, in view of the matter placed before the Court, it passed the following order:

“…in many cases and not that it matters, the photographs of the couple do not even show the maulvis, granthis and purohits/pandits etc who performed the “ceremony” and just two of them, these days wearing masks. They appear like studio photos with lots of pictures of Gods and Goddesses showering blessings on them, which photos actually make no difference in support of protection petitions.”

Bench also added that it had no interest in looking at the pictures except curiosity which when placed on record distracts the mind and potentially van invite needless comments from the Bench and waste its time.

most demeaning childlike work High Court Judges have been forcibly tasked with by a creation of the ingenious Bar and a solution needs to be devised to caste the burden on some other alternative mechanism of redress including by amending the law and conferring such power on the subordinate judiciary etc.

As far as the Registry is concerned, it is directed that photographs would not be attached with protection petitions by runaway couples unless there is an affidavit of counsel that they are necessary for the understanding of the case, for which reasons must be assigned by way of an application.

Hence, photographs are not proof of marriage neither is a Court concerned with the marriage in this jurisdiction.

The Court is only concerned about the identity of the petitioners in these cases which can be traced back. For these there are Aadhar cards and other official photo identification and passport size photographs of both etc. would be sufficient compliance which are to be placed on record duly authenticated by the petitioners. [Hardeep Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 762 , decided on 12-06-2020]

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