Live-in relationship cases: Courts guardians of minor girls, says Punjab and Haryana High Court

Live-in relationship cases: Courts guardians of minor girls, says Punjab and Haryana High Court

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 28

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the courts were also the guardian of minor and other girls of tender age, who enticed by men, might end up filing protection petitions based on live-in relationships without knowing the consequences.

Live-in relationship cases

  • Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan observed it was but obvious for the court to issue a notice to the girl’s parents or issue directions to the illaqa magistrate to record her statement before disposing of petitions based on live-in relationship
  • The intention was to find out whether the minor girl understood the consequence of filing a protection petition and whether she was capable of taking an independent decision

Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan also made it clear that the zeal and zest shown by the courts in disposing of protection petitions based on live-in relationship on the very first date without issuing notice to the parents of girls aged about 18, at times, resulted in deep trouble for them.

Justice Sangwan observed it was but obvious for the court to issue a notice to the girl’s parents or issue directions to the illaqa magistrate to record her statement before disposing of petitions based on live-in relationship. This was where the girl was either a minor or of a tender age around 18. The intention was to find out whether she understood the consequence of filing a protection petition and whether she was capable of taking an independent decision.

The directions came on a girl’s anticipatory bail petition in an FIR registered on June 9 for using as true a declaration knowing it to be false, cheating and other offences under Sections 420, 198, 199, 200, 120-B, IPC, at the Dinanagar police station in Gurdaspur district.

The girl as a petitioner had filed two protection petitions, along with the co-accused, and was now facing criminal proceedings. The initial petition was dismissed as withdrawn. The couple filed another plea concealing the filing of the first. Her mother subsequently alleged that the co-accused was a married person with a living spouse. As such, the live-in relationship claim was apparently false.

Her counsel submitted the petitioner was not aware about the marriage of the co-accused when she filed the two petitions. She was also unaware about concealment as the co-accused had engaged the counsel and filed the petition.

Justice Sangwan asserted it was well-known that protection petitions based on live-in relationship were filed in a calculated manner just to create defence as girl’s parents filed rape and abduction case.

“Needless to say, at the age, around 18 years, the primary concern of the a girl’s parents is to educate her properly and to build up her professional career and such decisions are consciously taken by the parents, whereas the protection petitions, based on live-in relationship, are filed by young persons based on emotional decisions taken from heart,” Justice Sangwan added.

Granting interim bail to the girl, Justice Sangwan directed the Gurdaspur SSP to ensure the arrest of co-accused before the next date of hearing.

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