Read Order: Arshdeep Kaur and another Vs. State of Punjab and others

LE Staff

Chandigarh, September 17, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, to decide the representation moved by a couple, and grant protection to them, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived while observing that it is the bounden duty of the State as per the Constitutional obligations cast upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen.

This petition had been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the official respondents to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners at the hands of private respondents.

From the petitioners’ side, it was contended that the first petitioner, Arshdeep Kaur, is minor and the second petitioner is major. They want to live together in a live-in-relationship and to marry with each other on attaining the marriageable age of first petitioner.

The counsel for the petitioner stated that they were seeking protection to their life and liberty as they apprehended danger at the hands of respondents. The representation dated July 22, 2021 had been sent to the second respondent-Commissioner of Police, Amritsar through courier.

The counsel also relied upon the judgment passed by the  Supreme Court in Nandakumar and another Vs. State of Kerala and others, wherein it was held that even if the boy was not competent to enter into wedlock, they have right to live together even outside wedlock. It would not be out of place to mention that `live-in-relationship’ is now recognized by the Legislature itself.

The Bench of Justice Haranesh Singh Gill observed that Article 21 of the Constitution stipulates protection of life and liberty to every citizen and that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

The Court noted that it is the bounden duty of the State as per the Constitutional obligations cast upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen. Mere fact that first petitioner is not of marriageable age would not deprive the petitioners of their fundamental right as envisaged in the Constitution, being citizens of India.

Thus, without entering upon an exercise to evaluate the evidentiary value of the documents placed on the file, the present petition has been disposed of with a direction to Commissioner of Police,to decide the representation moved by the petitioners, and grant protection to them, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived.

The Bench also clarified that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners from legal action for violation of law, if any, committed by them.

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