Punjab and Haryana High Court calls for compassion in runaway bride cases: emphasises respect for individual choices : The Tribune India

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Punjab and Haryana High Court calls for compassion in runaway bride cases: emphasises respect for individual choices

Punjab and Haryana High Court calls for compassion in runaway bride cases: emphasises respect for individual choices

Photo for representational purpose only. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, June 7

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has urged compassion in kidnapping cases involving runaway brides. Flooded with petitions filed after the registration of cases against their male companions, the high court has made it clear that the parents should acknowledge that children may make choices personal to them. The assertion came as the Bench called for high degree of latitude while quashing kidnapping cases where the couples were married and living happily.

“Such plea would be fortified in case a child has been born from the wedlock,” the Bench asserted. Marking a clear-cut departure from the standard practice, Justice Sumeet Goel further ruled the victim’s minor status at the time of the alleged offense should not automatically warrant the rejection of FIR quashing plea.

The high court, even in such matters, had the jurisdiction to evaluate the facts in its entirety, including attaining the age of majority by the victim since then, her continuing with matrimonial ties and whether the couple had a child.

Justice Goel asserted the gradual unfolding of factual position in such matters revealed the accused and the victim, earlier in a relationship, had solemnised marriage in some cases. But their alliance was not to the liking of the victim’s guardian/family.

“The parents must take into account that their children may make choices which are individual to them; and just as life does not tarry with yesterday, certain consequential life events cannot be reversed,” Justice Goel asserted, while quoting Shakespeare as saying – ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind’.

The Bench added it could be uncomfortable, distressing, and even disconcerting to face relentless criticism and scrutiny of relationship for couple wedded happily for long and having children. “A marriage is a matter of more worth, than to be dealt in by attorneyship”, Justice Goel added while quoting Shakespeare in ‘Henry VI’.

The Bench added a father’s rancour could not be permitted to remain ‘extant ad infinitum ad nauseam’ or repeated action. “To have the accused – now the victim’s husband and father to the children born from wedlock, the purported victim – complainant’s daughter, now wife to the accused and mother to the children born from wedlock, as also the children; brought forth to court repeatedly to question and scrutinize the wedlock of which the children are born of, would be out rightly farcical and patently ludicrous”.

 

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