punjab and haryana high court

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a petition seeking appropriate directions to the Police authorities for protecting the life and liberty of the petitioners at the hands of private respondents, Alok Jain, J. the Court reprimanded the live-in couple who were married to others and went forward with the ‘abuse of process of law’ by seeking police protection alleging vague threat perception.

A case of Live-in relationship after marriage

The Court noted that both the parties were already married to someone else but were in a live-in relationship. It was alleged that on 2-09-2023, the petitioner’s wife came to his house and extended threats which led them to submit a representation on 11-09-2023 to the Senior Superintendent of Police (‘SSP’).

The Court regarded instant matter as “a classic case” wherein, a 31-year-old lady, having a daughter from her husband, was in illicit relationship with a man who was also married and having a child.

It further contemplated the threat perception narrated by the parties in the instant matter to be vague and evasive as it noted that the contentions that the man’s wife caught her husband and his live-in-partner in the promiscuous relationship could not be considered as a threat. The Court questioned the representation being sent from High Court Post Office while the explanation went missing on why the petitioners did not approach the local police station if there was any such serious threat.

Abuse of Process of law

The Court tagged the instant petition to be an abuse of the legal process for covering up the petitioners’ illicit relationship on being caught, while there was no threat perception as such. The Court questioned that in case of any threat to their life or a real grievance against the private respondents allegedly interfering in their live-in-relationship, the petitioners were at liberty to lodge an FIR under Section 154 of CrPC with the police or move an application under Section 156(3) of CrPC before the competent Court or file a complaint under Section 200 of CrPC. However, neither of the remedies was availed by the petitioners, and only a fictitious representation dated 11-09-2023 was moved to the SSP, followed by filing the present petition under the garb of writ jurisdiction to cover up their ‘illicit live-in-relationship’.

Live-in relationship without divorce

The Court expressed that “One’s choice to live outside wedlock does not mean that married persons are free to live-in-relationship with others during subsistence of marriage, as it would amount to transgressing the valid legal framework.” The Court took the filing of instant writ petition to be a “device adopted to have a seal and signature of this Court on the illegal act of the petitioners violating the norms of pious institution of marriage”. It further highlighted the absence of any factual foundation being supported by any material inspiring confidence regarding violation of one’s fundamental right under Article 21 of Constitution of India.

Therefore, the petition being devoid of merit, the Court dismissed the instant petition with cost of Rs 2,500 to be paid by the petitioners in favour of Shaheed Ajit Singh Police Welfare Fund.

[Binder Kaur v. State of Punjab, Criminal Writ Petition No. 9114 of 2023, decided on 15-09-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioners: Advocate Raminder Singh Dhaliwal

For State: Deputy Advocate General P.S. Grewal

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