Punjab and Haryana High Court allows a minor girl to either stay at a protection home or with the Mother of her husband as she did not want to return to her parents.
In the instant case, a couple who had run away from home and got married approached the Court.
They urged the Court to protect them from the parents of the girl.
As the girl was a minor, the Court allowed the girl to either stay at a protection home or with the Mother of her husband.
Brief Facts of the Case:-
The petitioner in the case, Preeti, who aged about 16 years at the time of the incident, ran away from her house and married her boyfriend Sahil whose age is around 18 years.
After that parents of the girl filed an FIR under Sections 365, 379, 506 and 34 IPC against Sahil.
So, the couple approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. They stated that they were getting threatened by the family of Preeti and had sought police protection from the Court.
Punjab and Haryana High Court sent the girl to a Nari Niketan because she categorically stated that she did not want to go back to her parents.
Mother of the boy informed the Court that she was willing to take care of Preeti and accept her as her daughter in law.
She told the Court that even if her son was sent to jail, she would take care of the girl.
What’s Pleaded For and Against Minor Girl:-
Learned counsel for the petitioner stated that if the marriage between the boy and the minor girl is considered valid, then Sahil will be the legal guardian of Preeti and will be able to take care of her.
Whereas, the counsel for the respondents stated that Preeti was underage and lured by Sahil. It was also alleged that Preeti stole cash and jewellery at the behest of Sahil.
Reasoning of the Court
Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that by her statement, Preeti had overheard her parents about marrying her off to a boy of their choice, and that is why she left her home on her own accord.
It was further observed that Preeti had contacted Sahil and asked him to rescue her. Therefore there is no proof that Sahil had induced her to run away.
Hon’ble Judges also opined that the couple got married in a temple as per Hindu traditions. They followed all the rituals and therefore their marriage cannot be termed void.
Even though there was no marriage certificate their, marriage was legal.
Therefore, the Court was of the view that even though Preeti was ten months short of attaining majority her choice matters. It cannot be said that she will mature magically on the said date and change her views.
Decision of the Court
Punjab and Haryana High Court held that it was not appropriate to send Preeti to her parents against her wishes. So, the choice was left to her if she wants to go to a Protection Home or stay with the Mother of her husband.
Title: Preeti and another vs State of Haryana and others
Case No. CRWP-4181-2020 (O&M)
Date Of Order: 16.10.2020
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kumar
Mr Gautam Diwan, Advocate, for the petitioners. Ms Mahima Yashpal, Deputy Advocate General, Haryana. Mr Ravi Malik, Advocate, for respondents No.4 & 5