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High Court ties runaway couples in financial knot
Punjab & Haryana HC says grooms must prove they have money while seeking state protection
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Love is turning out to be an expensive affair for runaway couples seeking protection. For, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear to them that emotions are not enough for sustaining a relationship; and financial capabilities are required to be established by the groom while seeking protection.

“Getting married is a commitment beyond just sharing popcorns, watching movies and going out for a dinner date,” the High Court has asserted.

The Bench is, in fact, gauging the bona fides of the grooms and the genuineness of the relationship after judging the monetary competence of the grooms to carry on with the relationships and their willingness to deposit the money in the bride’s name.

The High Court is doing this by seeing whether they can come out with fixed deposit receipts in the bride’s name. In case of groom’s failure to honour the commitment of depositing money in the form of FDR in the girl’s name, the High Court in some cases is turning down their plea.

The judgment bringing in the element of money in love and the need to demonstrate fiscal stability was delivered by Justice Paramjeet Singh in the case of a runaway couple, who solemnised their marriage in February at a Panchkula temple.

Apprehending danger to their life and liberty, the couple approached the court. During the course of hearing, counsel for the petitioners stated that groom would deposit Rs 2 lakh in the form of FDR for three years in favour of the bride. But the counsel, on the next date of hearing, told the court that the groom was not in a position to deposit the amount, thereby violating the undertaking given to the court.

Taking up the matter, Justice Paramjeet Singh asserted: “The runaway marriage has been a part and parcel of the culture of Indian society since ages. Such marriages have been glorified in the folklores also. When such couples come, specially with a teenage girl, this court is required to find out whether this is a genuine marriage, and the girl in question, who happens to have run away with the sweetheart, is not likely to be put into trouble, as such marriages are performed ignoring the consent and knowledge of the parents…..

“Financial support for the wife as per the customary practice of the society is a necessity. This court cannot lose sight of the fact that we are living in a society where some people wear mask and are good at hiding things….

“It is common that trust is destroyed in relationships in a while. The masked man specifically targets vulnerable girls in full bloom who have difficult background or are emotionally fragile. Such girls are enticed and made to believe that they will have wonderful married life and they are special to the masked man.

“It has become an epidemic. The unfortunate teenage female children and girls in full bloom are being sold in various parts of the country and put to unbearable miseries. They are shockingly and brutally treated and confined in complete seclusion. They unwillingly surrender themselves to obnoxious way of life”.

Justice Paramjeet Singh added the court had come across cases where girls returned to their parents after being robbed of the chastity. “Can procurers and panders be allowed to lure innocent young girls in full bloom and put their lives in peril? This is the question which this court is confronted with. Another question is how to combat the hideous monster, the masked man, to protect the safety and purity of womanhood.”

Dismissing the plea, Justice Paramjeet Singh further added the act of depositing FDR would not only have established the groom’s bona fides, but also his financial stability.

“The marriage should bring with it hope for financial stability, as only emotions are not sufficient for sustaining it. The adolescents often see it as an adventure or key to freedom, but ultimately the girl in question turns out to be the sufferer in case the marriage is to fail, as it often does for lack of financial support.”

Protection money

  • To establish the genuineness of runaway couples’ relationship, the HC is asking grooms to prove their monetary competence by depositing money in bride’s name
  • It wants to ensure the grooms come out with fixed deposit receipts in the bride’s name while seeking protection
  • In case a groom fails to honour the commitment, the High Court in some cases is turning down their plea





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