Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Dinesh Mehta J. rejected the petition and disposed off the stay application.

The instant petitions were filed by couples who have fled home and have decided to marry and are now before the Court seeking police protection.

The Court relied on judgment Lata Singh v. State of U.P., AIR 2006 SC 2522, wherein it was observed that the Courts are not meant to provide protection to such youths, who have simply fled to marry according to their own wishes.

The Court observed that there is no material or reason for this Court to conclude that the petitioners’ life and liberty are at peril. There is not even an iota of evidence to evince that private respondents (relatives of the petitioner 1) are likely to cause physical or mental assault to the petitioners. If the petitioners have decided to marry, they must muster the audacity and possess tenacity to face and to persuade the society and their family to accept the step they have taken.

The Court observed that in a deserving case, the Court can provide security to the couple, but cannot lend them the support they have sought. They have to learn to support each other and face the society. If any person misbehaves or manhandles them, the Courts and police authorities are there to come to their rescue, but they cannot claim security as a matter of course or right.

The Court held “any serious threat perception to the petitioners is not found and, therefore, there is no requirement of passing any order for providing police protection to them”

[Shobha v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 545/2022, decided on 11-01-2022]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances:

For petitioner: Mr Ankit Chaudhary

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Sanjay Dhar, J., held that it is not open to a father or relatives of a girl to take law into their own hands and it is the duty of the Court to protect life and liberty of a major girl who, out of her own volition, wants to reside separately from her father.

The petitioners had approached the Court seeking a direction upon respondents to ensure safety of their life and honour. The case of the petitioners was that they had entered into wedlock out of their free will and volition against the wishes of the father of petitioner 1.

The petitioner 1 contended that her father was a ill repute who had entered into wedlock four times and had divorced her mother. It was further averred that her father wanted to give her in marriage to an illiterate truck driver and the same was resisted by her and she had even lodged a complaint with Women’s Commission in this regard.

Further, the petitioners alleged that private respondents i.e., respondents 6 to 9, invaded their house and raised a hue and cry over there and in case petitioners are not protected from the said respondents, they apprehend that they would be killed.

The respondents contested the petition for protection on the ground that the petitioner 1 had entered into a wedlock by suppressing the fact that there was already a restraint order passed by the Sub Judge, whereby she had been restrained from contracting marriage. According to the respondents, as per Shariat, consent of father his very important for marriage of daughter and without the consent of father, marriage is incomplete.

The Bench observed that the question whether the sub judge was justified in passing an order of restraint on marriage of petitioner 1 could be decided in appropriate proceedings, however, even if the petitioner 1 had violated the said order, it was not open to her father and his associates to harass the petitioners or to intimidate them. The proper course for them was to approach the concerned court seeking action for breach of its order. The Bench stated,

“No law or religion gives a license to a father to harass or intimidate his major daughter just because she does not accede to wishes of her father to marry a particular person.”

Hence, the writ petition was partly allowed and the State was directed to ensure that the petitioners were not harassed at the behest of respondents. [Anjum Afshan v.  State of J&K, 2021 SCC OnLine J&K 884, decided on 10-11-2020]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the petitioners: Mr. S. H. Thakur, Advocate

For the State: Mr. Sheikh Feroz, Dy. AG, vice

For the Respondents: Mr. B. A. Dar, Sr. AAG, for R1 to R6. and Mr. M. S. Reshi, Advocate-for R7 to R9.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: K Natarajan, J., rejected the prayer for bail and dismissed the petition.

The instant criminal petition was filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, praying to enlarge the petitioner on bail for the offences punishable under Sections 363, 343, 114, 506 and 376 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 4, 17 and 18 of the POCSO Act and Sections 9 and 10 of the Child Marriage Act.

Counsel for the petitioner Mr. M S Venugopal submitted that petitioner and the victim fell in love with each other. Both of them eloped and married in the presence of Mutavali and the marriage is a registered marriage. A copy of the marriage certificate is also produced.

Counsel for the respondent Mr. K. Nageshwarappa and Sharan N Majage submitted that the victim is 17 years and the victim married the accused on 01.10.2020 and her mother was not happy with the marriage and without her consent, she went along with the petitioner-accused. Therefore, prayed for allowing the bail petition.

The Court observed that the age of the victim is 15 years and her consent is immaterial. Though the second marriage is permissible under the Mohammedan Law, but the personal law cannot override the Special Law of POCSO, Child Marriage Restraints Act and General Penal Code of this Country. Merely the parties are Mohammedan that does not mean that the petitioner-accused 1 has right to marry a minor girl by enticing and abducting her. The consent or will of the victim minor girl is immaterial and even if she has voluntarily went with the accused, that amounts to abduction or kidnapping under Section 363 of IPC, got married to her which attracts Sections 9 and 10 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act and sexually assaulted her which attracts Sections 4 and 6 of POCSO Act.

The Court observed even if the minor girl gives ‘no objection’ to release the accused in a heinous crime like rape on a minor girl and granting bail to the accused is nothing but giving license to the offender to commit similar offences which would dilute the Special Act enacted by the Parliament for protecting the children from sexual offences and also deviating the provisions of Sections 9 and 10 of Child Marriage Restraint Act apart from the provisions of Section 375 of IPC and it will send a wrong message to the Society. Therefore, in the interest of the public at large and with an intention to curtail such type of sexual offences, the Court shall ignore the consent of a minor girl giving ‘no objection’ for granting bail to the accused and the Court should deal with such a heinous offence with an iron hand.

The Court held the petitioner-accused No.1 is not entitled for bail and the criminal petition deserves to be dismissed.” [Rahul v. State of Karnataka, 2021 SCC OnLine Kar 12728, decided on 16-06-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Alka Sarin, J., allowing the present petition, reemphasized on the extended view of Article 21 as opted by the Supreme Court in Shafin Jahan case.

 The present criminal writ petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. To put it briefly, the petitioners are residing together in a live in relationship and are willing to marry each other, against the wishes of their families. They are met with regular threat from their family members against which the present petition has been moved seeking protection under Article 21 of the Constitution.

 Court observed, “The petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life. The Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to life and the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life.”  Reliance was placed on the case of Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 368, wherein the Supreme Court observed, The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 of the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees the right to life. This right cannot be taken away except through a law which is substantively and procedurally fair, just and reasonable. Intrinsic to the liberty which the Constitution guarantees as a fundamental right is the ability of each individual to take decisions on matters central to the pursuit of happiness. Matters of belief and faith, including whether to believe are at the core of constitutional liberty.”

While allowing the petition, the Court further clarified, “Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners, both being major, have decided to live together in a live-in relationship and there possibly may not be any legally justifiable reason for the respondents to object to the same.”[Priyapreet Kaur v. State of Punjab,  2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2340, decided on 23-12-2020]


Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of S. Sujatha and Sachin Shankar Magadam JJ., disposed off the petition due to the limitation of its scope regarding the production of the individual only before the Court.

The instant writ petition in the nature of habeas corpus was filed by the petitioner seeking direction to respondents to produce Kum. Ramya G. before Court and set her at liberty.

The daughter of the petitioner Kum Ramya G was presented before the Court by the jurisdictional police and submitted that she is staying at Mahila Sakshatha Samithi, Vidyaranyapura and pursuant to the complaint lodged by her alleging infringement of her right to liberty caused by her parents relating to her marriage with the petitioner. She further submitted that she is in love with one of her colleague working at IQVIA as a software engineer but her parents are not giving permission.

The Court thus observed that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion.

In light of the aforesaid observations, Court held that the petition being limited to production of the person before the Court only, no interference to be made in other reliefs.

In view of the above, petition was disposed off.[Wajeed Khan v. Commr. of Police, W.P.H.C No. 92 of 2020, decided on 21-11-2020]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vivek Rusia, J. entertained a writ petition seeking police protection from relatives and members of society for the alleged harassment after the marriage of the petitioners. 

The petitioners contended that, they had entered into the wedlock voluntarily after acquiring majority (age) but the respondents have threatened them of their life and hence, they demand protection from the authorities. 

The learned counsel for the petitioner, R.K. Sharma, submitted that petitioners were harassed because the respondents and alleged members had objection with the valid marriage and the safety of petitioners were at stake due to such threats. It is to be noted that valid age of the petitioners are not in question. 

The counsel relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court, In Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, where it was observed that “this is free and democratic country and once a person becomes a major can marry whoever he or she likes. If the parents of the boy or girl do not approve of such inter-caste or inter-religious marriage the maximum they can do is that they can cut-off social relation with the son or daughter, but they cannot give threats or commit or instigate acts of violence and cannot harass the person who undergoes such inter-caste or inter-religious relationship marriage.” 

Highlighting the matter of ‘Khap Panchayat’ and ‘Honour Killing’ the counsel further submitted that such issues have already been discussed by Supreme Court vividly and were serious matter of concern. State was directed to take preventive and remedial punitive measures to discourage such practices. Emphasizing the judgment of Shakti Vahini v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 192, where the Supreme Court elaborated various measures and directed various agencies of the State in this regard. It was held that “To meet the challenges of the agonizing effect of honour crime, we think that there has to be preventive, remedial and punitive measures and accordingly, we state the broad contours and the modalities with liberty to the executive and the police administration of the concerned States to add further measures to evolve a robust mechanism for the stated purposes”.

The Court, based on the directives of the Supreme Court in Shakti Vahini, allowed the writ and directed the Superintendent of Police to provide security to the petitioners,  also to comply with the orders. [Mitali v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 795, decided on 09-05-2019]