The Punjab and Haryana High Court is set to examine whether a direction to provide protection/security to Live-In Couples be issued without there being any actual danger or apprehension of threat to life. The Court will also consider whether providing such protection would encourage the trend of extramarital relations in society.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Vashisth was dealing with a bunch of ‘protection petitions’/ ‘criminal writ petitions’, filed by persons who either living in a ‘live-in-relationship’ or in some cases even performed marriage again without lawfully obtaining decree of divorce of their first marriage, sought direction from the Court for ‘protection of their lives and liberty’, which is stated to be at risk at the hands of persons who are either spouse from first marriage or their other family members.

Advocate Kuldip Singh appeared for petitioners, Satya Pal Jain, ASGI, appeared for Centre, B.R. Mahajan, Advocate General, appeared for State of Haryana, JS Arora, DAG, appeared for the State of Punjab and P.S. Paul, Addl. PP appeared for UT Chandigarh.

The Court pointed out that such protection petitions are filed in a casual manner only to get ‘seal of the High Court’, by obtaining an order with regard to protection, under Article 226 of the Constitution, without there being any such actual stage of threat to the lives and liberty of the petitioner(s).

Thus the Court formulated six questions for consideration. The issues/questions formulated by the Court are as under-

i). Whether, without there being any actual danger or apprehension of threat to life, with some prima facie evidence, direction to provide protection/security to the petitioner(s), can be issued, as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and whether it would encourage the trend of extra marital relations in society?

ii). Whether, protection petition filed by already married persons(s) during the existence of marital life, against his/her spouse, without there being actual danger of life, could be entertained under Article 226 of the Constitution of India or Section 482 Cr.P.C.?

iii). Whether, issuing direction to protect lives and liberty, which is sought against his/her own spouse, would give handle/liberty to the protection seeker(s) of ignoring/bye passing the existing laws of the land with regard to marriage and divorce and other statutory penal provisions, and also to ignore future interests of the legally wedded spouse and the children, if any?

iv). Whether, protection petitions filed by already married person(s) against the interests of his/her deserted spouse and children, could be considered at par with the protection petitions filed by ‘run-away couples’, seeking protection of their lives and liberty from ‘honour killing’?

v). Whether, issuance of direction to protect already married person(s), would amount to affixing of seal of the Court to the illegal and unethical relationship of such person(s), against the social framework of the country?

vi). Whether, issuing protection direction in the petition(s) of already married person(s) will disturb the social fabric of the country; complicate the social structure & status of future generation; and increase manifold & unending litigation because of absence of any law to deal with the same?

Cause Title- Darshan Kaur And Anr. v. State of Punjab And Ors

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