Chandigarh, August 19, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside its earlier order dismissing the plea of a newly married couple seeking protection from their family members against whose wishes they had got married.
The petitioners — a man and a woman — had solemnised their marriage at a temple on August 6, 2021 against the wishes of the woman’s parents, brothers and cousin brothers and apprehended that their life and liberty was under threat from them.
The couple made a representation regarding their apprehension and seeking protection to the Superintendent of Police, Sirsa district, Haryana on the same day that they got married, i.e, August 6, 2021, and also filed a petition in the High Court.
During the hearing in the High Court on August 9, 2021, the petitioner’s counsel said no action was taken by the officer on the representation and sought the Court’s directions regarding the same.
A single-judge bench of Justice Manoj Bajaj, however, had dismissed their plea saying that the couple had made the representation on the same day as solemnising their marriage and also filed the petition. “It is apparent that the petitioners have acted hastily to approach this Court,” the Bench had said.
The High Court had noted that in the petition, neither any specific threat or allegation has been attributed to any of the respondents nor any convincing material has been brought on record to substantiate the ground. “Admittedly, the private respondents were opposing the alliance of the petitioners, but previously in this regard, no complaint was ever made to the police by the petitioners, against private respondents No.4 to 8,” the bench had said in its order dated August 9, 2021.
“The sequence of events pleaded by the petitioners do not seem to be probable, therefore, the prayer made by the learned counsel for issuance of directions to Superintendent of Police, Sirsa to look into their representation is also not worth acceptance, as their representation also lacks necessary particulars regarding manner and mode of alleged threat,” the Bench had added while dismissing their plea.
However, while hearing the appeal against the above order, a Division Bench of the High Court directed the Superintendent of Police, District Sirsa, (respondent No. 2) to look into the representation dated August 6, 2021 submitted by the appellants and take appropriate steps in accordance with law in case some substance is found in the said representation and ensure that the life and liberty of the appellants is not jeopardized at the hands of the private respondents, i.e., the woman’s family members.
“We have gone through the order passed by the learned Single Judge and found that the said Court has not taken into consideration the basic aspect that the appellants have duly approached the Court apprehending threat to their life and liberty at the hands of private respondents,” said a Bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma.
“The reason with regard to the apprehension was also mentioned in the petition, which, in the considered view of this Court, is quite justified keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case,” the Bench said on August 17, 2021.