Rajasthan High Court: Mahendar Kumar Goyal, J., decided upon a petition which was filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for the protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioner, Mr Amit Jindal submitted that both petitioners were major and were married with the consent of their respective parents,   which was an arranged marriage.   He submitted that two sisters of petitioner 1 were married to two brothers of petitioner 2 and her sisters, leaving their in-laws family, were residing at their “pihar”. It was alleged by the counsel that the parents and other family members of petitioner 1, i.e., the respondents 5 to 9, were pressurizing and harassing the petitioners so that petitioner 1 may also return back to her “pihar”. The counsel prayed for police protection.

The Court relied upon the cases of the Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of UP, (2006) 5 SCC 475, S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal, (2010) 5 SCC 600, Indra Sarma v. VKV Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755 and Shafin Jahan v. Asokan KM, (2018) 16 SCC 368 wherein it was clearly held that society cannot determine how individuals live their lives, especially when they are major, irrespective of the fact that the relation between two major individuals may be termed as unsocial.

Thus, life and personal liberty of the individuals has to be protected except according to procedure established by law, as mandated by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Further, as per Section 29 of Rajasthan Police Act, 2007 every police officer is duty bound to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

The Court disposed of the petition with the direction that counsel for the petitioners shall send a copy of the petition along with its annexures to the Station House Officer of concerned Police Station through registered post/e-mail, and on receipt of the same, the Station House Officer concerned shall treat it as a complaint and after due enquiry,   he shall take necessary preventive measures and other steps to ensure safety and security of the petitioners in accordance with law.[Saroj Devi v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Criminal Writ Petition No. 777 of 2021, decided on 20-04-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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