Merely Because the Boy is not of Marriageable Age Though Major the Right of Boy to Live-Together can’t be Denied: P&H HC

Merely because the boy is not of marriageable age though major the right of boy to live-together can’t be denied: P&H HC

“Admittedly, he is a major. 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.”

Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed held merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live-together cannot be denied.  “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”, the bench said.

Remarking that “Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit“, the Bench upheld the right of couples to live in a live-in relationship.

Brief Facts of the Case

  • The matter before the Court was a criminal writ petition for enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6.
  • It is further stated petitioners have known each other from the last one year and wanted to marry each other.
  •  However, when the parents of petitioner No.1 became aware of their relationship, fights took place between the families.
  • The parents of petitioner No.1 gave her severe beatings and decided to marry her against her wishes, confined her into a room, snatched her mobile phone and threatened to kill her if she kept any kind of relationship with petitioner No.2. Petitioner No.1 left her home on 20.12.2020 to reside with petitioner No.2.
  • It is further stated that since petitioner No. 2 has not attained marriageable age, the petitioners are living in a live-in relationship.
  • However, their relationship is not acceptable to respondent Nos.4 to 6 and they are threatening the petitioners with dire consequences.
  • The counsel for the petitioners contended that the life and liberty of the petitioners is in grave danger at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6.
  • It was also submitted that the petitioners have also moved a representation to the Senior Superintendent of Police, District Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, however, no action took place.

Observation of Court

  • The Court significantly noted that, “She is well within her right to decide for herself what is good for her and what is not. She has decided to take a step to be in a live-in-relationship with petitioner No.2 who is also major, though may not be of a marriageable age. Be that as it may, the fact remains that both the petitioners in the present case are major and have a right to live their life on their own terms.”
  • The private respondent Nos.4 to 6 being family members of petitioner No.1, who is a major, cannot dictate to petitioner No.1 how and with whom she chooses to spend her lifeThe 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
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    ,” it added.
  • Reference was made to the verdict of Shafin Jahan vs. Asokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 368, wherein the Supreme Court reiterated the right of choice of an adult. It was inter alia held:- “86. 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. The Constitution exists for believers as well as for agnostics. The Constitution protects the ability of each individual to pursue a way of life or faith to which she or he seeks to adhere. Matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership are within the central aspects of identity. The law may regulate (subject to constitutional compliance) the conditions of a valid marriage, as it may regulate the situations in which a marital tie can be ended or annulled. These remedies are available to parties to a marriage for it is they who decide best on whether they should accept each other into a marital tie or continue in that relationship. Society has no role to play in determining our choice of partners.”
  • The Court further added that, the petitioners are seeking protection of their life and liberty as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides for protection of life and personal liberty and further lays down that no person shall be deprived of his or her personal liberty except as per the procedure established by law. No doubt petitioner No.2 is not of marriageable age, however, admittedly, he is a major. 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.
  • Considering the fact that the Man is not of marriageable age, the Court  in the present case directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Fatehgarh Sahib to decide the representation dated 20.12.2020 and take necessary action as per law.

Case name – Priyapreet Kaur and Another v. State Of Punjab and Others

Citation- CRWP-10828-2020 (O&M)

Coram- HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE ALKA SARIN

Merely because the boy is not of marriageable age though major the right of boy to live-together can’t be denied: P&H HC

Also Read: The Provisions In Section 357A (1) (4)&(5) Cr.P.C Are Substantive In Character: Kerala HC

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