Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 19
In a judgment that will change the way runaway couples tie the knot, the state of Punjab has assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court that guidelines will be issued on carrying out necessary verifications and informing the police before performance of such marriages in Mohali district.
The assurance came during the hearing of a petition filed by a couple against the state of Punjab and other respondents after the Bench observed that that the parties before the court were not of marriageable age in some cases. Yet, their marriages were being performed.
Taking up the matter, the vacation Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill had on Tuesday observed that Sikh priest from a gurdwara in Kharar tehsil had been performing Anand Karaj ceremony of runaway couples even though they were not accompanied by their relatives.
“It has been also found in some cases that the parties are not of marriageable age but still their marriage is performed by the said Sikh priest,” Justice Gill had asserted before directing the station house officer of Kharar police station to produce priests Kulbir Singh and Mohinder Pal Singh in the court on Wednesday
As the case came up for resumed hearing this morning, priests Kulbir Singh and Mohinder Pal Singh were produced before the court by a sub-inspector. Both priests were made aware of the concerns of the court and the illegalities and irregularities committed by them while performing the marriages of the runaway couples.
Faced with the situation, both tendered an unconditional apology for not checking complete particulars, including age and identity of the couples, before
performing their marriages. They also undertook before Justice Gill’s Bench that they would in future comply with the provisions of law and the rules.
The state counsel, on instructions from the sub-inspector, assured the Bench that necessary guidelines would be issued to the effect that all priests in future within the jurisdiction of Mohali would perform marriages of couples only after the requirements of law regarding their age and identity were fulfilled.
They would also have to inform the police before performing such marriages “so as to avoid non-compliance and violation of the law”, the state counsel added.
Before parting with the case, Justice Gill asserted that further orders were not called for.
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