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Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Monga, J. disposed of the writ petition after issuing necessary direction to Superintendent of Police to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners.

A writ petition was issued for the protection of life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India vis-à-vis a conceded violation of Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, inasmuch as a girl aged 20 years 9 months and boy aged 20 years and 3 months claim to have married each other having purportedly being in love with each other.

The brief facts of the case were that petitioner knew each other for the last two year and thus they decided to get married but parents of the second petitioner were against their marriage. Petitioner stated that respondents had issued a threat that they will kill the petitioners in order to break their matrimonial tie and hell-bent in ruining their life one way or the other. Thus, the petitioner approached Senior Superintendent of Police but no action was taken by the same.

D.D. Sharma, Counsel for the petitioner stated that they were living in the constant danger as they had every apprehension that private respondents will catch them and carry out their threats and may go to the extent of even committing their murder. Thus the present writ petition was filed by the petitioner in order to seek appropriate orders in the present matter.

The Court opined that a perusal to Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, leaves no doubt that one of the essential condition related to age is not fulfilled, but which does not make the marriage a void marriage. The Court supported the legislative intent after relying on the case of Jitender Kumar Sharma v. State, 2001 (7) AD (Delhi) 785. The Court in this issue suggested that this condition may be satisfied before the appropriate forum if the same is challenged. The Court regarding the issue of personal right and liberty held that Constitutional Fundamental Right under Article 21 of Constitution of India stands on a much higher pedestal. Being sacrosanct under the Constitutional Scheme it must be protected, regardless of the solemnization of an invalid or void marriage or even the absence of any marriage between the parties. It is the bounden duty of the State as per the Constitutional obligations casted upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen. Thus it was ordered to Superintendent of Police to verify the content of the petitioner particularly the threat perception of the petitioners and thereafter provide necessary protection qua their life and liberty if deemed fit.[Gurwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 879, decided on 21-06-2019]