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Facts of the Case

  • In Farzana Begam @ Amanvs. the State of Punjab, a petition was filed by an inter-religion couple who sought protection from their relatives who opposed their relationship.
  • It was submitted by the Petitioners that Petitioner no. 1, the woman, was 21 years of age, and Petitioner no. 2, the man, was 22 years of age and both of them were of marriageable age and had married each other out of free consent.
  • The Petitioners also submitted that Petitioner 1 was a Muslim female who had converted into the Hindu religion and married Petitioner no. 2.
  • The Counsel for the Petitioner, Ms. Bhavna Grewal, contended that even if the marriage between the parties is inter-se not valid, the right of protection of life and liberty is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and hence, necessary orders should be delivered for the protection of life and liberty of the Petitioners. The Hon’ble Court agreed with the arguments of the Counsel and issued orders directing the police to take necessary actions.

Directions of the Court

  • The single judge bench of Hon’ble Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri on May 17th, 2021 observed that validity of the marriage cannot be a ground for denial of police protection to a couple who faces threats from relatives.
  • The Hon’ble Court held that as the scope of the present petition is only regarding the protection of life and liberty of the Petitioners, the validity of the marriage cannot be a basis for denial of protection to the couple.
  • Consequently, the Court also directed that respondent No.3 shall look into the representation and if so required shall ensure the protection of life and liberty of the petitioners pertaining to their lives
  • The Court made it clear that these directions are being issued only keeping in mind the purpose of protecting the life and liberty of the couple.

Judgments Passed in Similar Cases

  • On 18th May, it was ruled by Hon’ble Justice Jaishree Thakur that even though the concept of a live-in relationship may not be acceptable to all, it cannot be said that such a relationship constitutes an offense and isillegal. On the same day as Justice Thakur, Hon’ble Justice Sudhir Mittal also held that live-in relationships are not forbidden by law any person who wants to be in such a relationship was entitled to protection by law.
  • Recently a few judgments have been passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which are conflicting orders regarding the live-in relationships and the protection to be granted to such a couple.
  • Contradictory to these two judgments, it was held by Hon’ble Justice H. S. Madaan that live-in relationships are morally and socially unacceptable.
  • In an order passed by Hon’ble Justice Anil Kshetrapal, a similar petition was turned down stating that if the couple was granted protection, it would disturb the entire social fabric of the society.

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