On July 14, Single judge bench Arun Monga concluded in a writ petition 4507 of 2020, Fundamental right under Article 21 must be protected regardless of the solemnization of invalid or void marriage or even the absence of any marriage between the parties.
The Petitioner filed the said writ petition to seek protection qua their life and liberty. Petitioners are a girl aged 26 years and 11 months and boys aged 20 years and 8 months got married at Gurudwara in Amritsar. Immediately after marriage Petitioner claimed that they got life threats from their respective families. The single bench observed that “Without going into the merits of the validity of the marriage, I am of the view that every citizen being entitled to enforcement of fundamental rights as envisaged under Constitution of India, would necessarily entail grant of appropriate protection to the petitioners herein qua their life and liberty”.
Being conscious of the fact that even if the marriage solemnized between the petitioners, it violates Sec. 5(iii) of the Hindu marriage act. As sec. 5 forecast statutory pre-requisite for the consenting parties and sub-section (iii) Stipulates the minimum age of bridegroom to be of 21 years and bride to be of 18years. Referring to the fact bench also observed that the Petitioners will have to satisfy the validity of their marriage before the appropriate forum, however, the issue here is not the marriage of the Petitioner but deprivation of the fundamental right of seeking protection of life and liberty. "I have no hesitation to hold that Constitutional Fundamental Right under Article 21 stands on a much higher pedestal", declared the bench. "It is the bounden duty of the State as per the Constitutional obligations cast upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen", the bench further iterated. Now Deputy Superintendent of Police of Amritsar is directed to verify the claim of the petition about threat perception of the Petitioner and take necessary action. [READ JUDGMENT]