Recently, while hearing a plea for anticipatory bail the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the petitioner whether live-in relationships or marriage between first cousins illegal?
This question came up when Hon’ble Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan was adjudicating petition for pre-arrest bail to the petitioner who was charged for offences punishable u/s 366A(Procuration of a minor girl) and Section 363(kidnapping).
Contentions raised before the Court:
Learned Counsel for the petitioner stated that the petitioner had filed a criminal writ petition along with the girl in question, praying for grant of their liberty and life.
The Court summoned the file of the writ, and according to the memorandum of parties, the girl in question was 17 years old, and the petitioner and girl had submitted that they were in a live-in relationship.
After perusal of the documents, the Court noticed that the girl had stated that she started to live with the petitioner because she had an inkling that her parents will harass them and disturb their peace of mind.
That petition was disposed of by the Court and the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana was directed to grant protection to the petitioner and the girl if there was a threat to their liberty and life.
On the other hand, Counsel for the state argued that the girl was a minor, so her parents lodged an FIR against the petitioner and also because they were first cousins.
It was also argued that both of them belong to the same spinda under Hindu Marriage Act; therefore, they cannot marry each other.
Lastly, it was submitted that as the marriage between the petitioner and the is prohibited, there is no question of them living together as it is immoral and unacceptable in society.
Observations of the Court
The Court observed that the petitioner did not disclose the fact that he was the first cousin of the girl; therefore, their submission that they will get married when she attains majority is per se illegal.
After hearing the observations of the Court, Counsel for the petitioner sought time to address the issues that were raised.
Hon’ble Court granted the Counsel’s request and the matter was adjourned to 11/01/2021
Title: Akhilesh vs the State of Punjab
Case No.: CRM-M-38132-2020
Date of Order:19.11.2020
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan