punjab and haryana high court

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a petition under Article 226 of Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of mandamus upon State authorities to protect their lives and liberties at the hands of private respondents, their friends and relatives, along with the direction not to falsely implicate them in any false criminal case at the behest of private respondents, their friends and relatives, Kuldeep Tiwari, J. refused to grant any relief to the couple approaching the Court to avoid criminal prosecution and obliquely obtain the seal of the Court on their conduct.

The petitioners aged around 21 years and 27 years respectively provided their Aadhar Cards to prove they had attained majority in the instant petition. The two petitioners were living in a ‘live-in relationship’ since September 2023. The said relationship was accepted by the family members of the male partner, but it caused grievance to the female partner’s family, who eventually threatened to kill the petitioners. Such threats made the petitioners apprehensive of the danger to their lives and liberty, for which they approached the Court through the instant petition.

The Court highlighted that the female live-in partner aged 21 years was unmarried, but the male live-in partner was married, and father of a girl-child aged about 2 years, stated to be residing with him. It was further pointed out that the fact of institution of divorce case was disclosed, but its conclusion remained undisclosed which compelled the Court to infer that the divorce case was yet to be decided.

The Court commented that without obtaining a valid divorce decree from his earlier spouse and during subsistence of his earlier marriage, the male petitioner was living a lustful and adulterous life with the his live-in partner, which may constitute an offence punishable under Sections 494 and 495 of Penal Code, 1860, since such a relationship does not fall within the phrase of ‘live-in relationship’ or ‘relationship’ within the nature of marriage.

The Court further pointed towards the bald and vague allegations, qua threats being extended to the petitioners in the absence of any supportive material placed on record to corroborate their allegations or a single instance pertaining to manner and mode of alleged threats extended to them was disclosed. It went on to express that “such bald and vague allegations cannot be readily and naively accepted by this Court, in the absence of any valid and convincing material in support thereof.”

The Court regarded the instant petition as a scheme to get away from criminal prosecution, just to obliquely obtain the seal of this Court on their conduct. Hence, the Court denied any relief to the live-in couple in the instant matter and dismissed the petition.

[Reena Devi v. State of Punjab, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 2818, decided on 6-11-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this matter: Advocate Virender Singh

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