[Art. 21] Raj HC | Society cannot determine how individuals live their lives; Police protection granted to a ‘major’ couple residing together

Rajasthan High Court: Mahendra Kumar Goyal, J., disposed of the petition directing the Station House officer of the concerned police station to provide safety and security to the aggrieved couple.

The instant petition was filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that both the petitioners are major and are in live-in relationship in pursuance of agreement attested on 17.06.2021; but, the private respondents are not happy with it and they are threatening the petitioners. Given that their life and liberty is in danger, police protection may be granted to them.

Counsel for respondent 5 Mr Sikander Ali Chopdar submitted that FIR has been filed with the Police Station Ringus, District Sikar against the petitioner 2 and hence, the petitioners cannot be extended police protection.

The Court relied on judgment 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 and observed that the 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, the 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 the Rajasthan Police Act, 2007 every police officer is duty bound to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

The Court further observed that the petitioners are major and petitioner 1, the girl is residing with the petitioner 2 out of her free will. Being major, she is entitled to reside with the person of her choice.

The Court thus held “counsel for the petitioners shall send a copy of the petition along with its annexure 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.”

[Divya Shekhawat v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous (Petition) No. 3522/2021, decided on 24-06-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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