The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on December 22’ 2020, passed a judgement making it clear that the alleged illegality of a marriage solemnized without the consent of the groom’s first wife is not a relevant factor for providing protection to the couple.
The judgement was passed by Justice Alka Sarin in the resent case of a Muslim couple who filed a plea in the High Court while seeking Police Protection from the court, under Protection of Life and Liberty.
Advocate Vishal Garg Narwana appeared on behalf of the petitioners in the court. During the hearing, Justice Sarin asserted,
“The alleged illegality of the marriage of the petitioners having been solemnized without the consent of the first wife is not to be gone into in the present proceedings, which are only regarding providing protection to the petitioners.”
The court noted that in the present case, the validity of the second marriage was not as much of an issue, but the fact that the petitioners were trying to seek Police Protection for Protection of Life and Liberty, as implied under article 21 of the Constitution of India.
It was elaborated further and noted by the court that article 21 did in fact provided for Protection of Life and Liberty and further laid down that no person would be deprived of life and personal liberty except as per the procedure laid by the law.
As remarked by Justice Sarin, the court could not ignore the fact that the apprehensions of the petitioners required immediate attention and further remarked that merely getting married against the wishes and by the lack of approval of the family does not hold the power to deprive the couple of the Fundamental Rights which have been provided to them by the Constitution of India.
The advocate who appeared on behalf of the respondent, the second wife, argued that the consent of the first wife was necessary for performing the second marriage as per the Muslim Law or Shariyat Law.
After listening to the arguments put forward by both the parties, the court directed the Superintendent of Police to decide the couple’s representation before taking necessary action as per the law. The direction came as Justice Sarin disposed of the petition without expressing an opinion on the veracity of contents of the petition and submissions by the petitioners’ counsel.
Further, the court concluded that,
“It is made clear that this order shall not, in any manner, be construed as an expression of opinion on the veracity of the statement made by the petitioners or the validity of the marriage and shall have no effect on any other civil or criminal proceedings, if any, instituted or pending against them.”
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