August 5, 2021 8:59:57 am
A runaway couple from Haryana has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking protection. The court did grant the couple the protection but only after directing the Palwal district police chief to investigate if it there was something fishy in the marriage.
Reason: The age difference of 48 years between the man who is is 67 years old and his wife, who is 19.
Suspicious over the marriage, a bench of Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri ordered the Superintendent of Police, Palwal, to probe the matter within one week. The matter has been adjourned for August 10.
The petitioner couple had sought protection of the life and liberty and directions to the private respondents as not to harass or to interfere in their peaceful married life.
Justice Puri, after hearing the plea, said, “It is a shocking case where the protection is being sought by two petitioners i.e. petitioner No.1 being a girl of 19 years of age and petitioner No.2 being a man of the age of 67 years and they are stated to have married each other. It is not clear from the pleadings or from the arguments raised by the learned counsel for the petitioners as to whether petitioner No.2 has solemnized his first marriage or multiple marriages or under what circumstances a girl of 19 years of age had got married with an old man of 67 years of age.”
The bench said that prima facie this court is of the view that there is some suspicion with regard to the aforesaid marriage and the possibility of forced marriage can also be not ruled out at this stage.
The bench thus directed “Superintendent of Police, Palwal shall forthwith today itself depute a team of police officials including lady police officials to reach out to petitioner No.1, and ensure her protection forthwith thereafter. The team constituted by the Superintendent of Police, Palwal shall enquire into the entire matter not only with the present marriage but also with regard to the background of petitioner No.2 and produce petitioner No.1 before the Ilaqa Magistrate for recording her statement. The Ilaqa Magistrate shall record the statement of petitioner No.1 after ascertaining the voluntariness of petitioner No.1. Thereafter the Superintendent of Police, Palwal shall also file his affidavit himself in this Court.”
The HC ordered that the entire exercise be carried out within a period of one week. So far as the protection to be granted to petitioner No.1 is concerned, the same shall be done forthwith.
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