The Punjab and Haryana High Court last week directed the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula to examine the matter which involved a marriage of a 20-year-old boy, who had, along with her alleged wife (19-year-old), filed a protection plea.
The Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill noted that though the girl is of marriageable age being 19 years, the boy, who is aged 20 years, cannot be said to be of marriageable age being less than 21 years and therefore, issued the following direction to the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula:
"...examine the matter particularly as regards the solemnization of marriage of the petitioners despite the fact that petitioner No.2-Vijay was not of marriageable age, which is in fact against the provisions of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and shall also examine the role of the priest, who has solemnized the marriage in question."
The Court has further directed the CP to take necessary action it is found that the marriage has been performed in violation of any provisions.
Essentially, the court was hearing a protection plea of a married couple when it noted that the boy was not of marriage age, who claimed that he had solemnized marriage with a 19-year-old girl at 'Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Near Kaushaliya River Bridge, Pinjore, District Panchkula, Haryana.
They further claimed that respondents No.4 to 6 have been issuing threats to cause harm to them forcing the petitioners to run from one place to another.
In view of this, the Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Gurdaspur to examine the representation of the petitioners as regards their alleged threat perception and to take necessary steps so as to ensure that they are not harmed in any manner.
With this, the petition stood disposed of accordingly.
In related news, recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had imposed Rs. 25K cost on a couple while hearing their plea protection plea, wherein they had claimed that they were married as they had exchanged garlands and had performed "saptapadi" (Saat Phere) by lighting fire in a utensil in a hotel room.
Noting that there was no 'valid marriage' and that the petitioners had tried to mislead the Court, the Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill, however, directed the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula to look into the matter and their representation seeking protection
Case title - Neha and another v. State of Punjab and others