In this post we will discuss about the latest judgement of Punjab and Haryana High Court in which it decided that states are bound to protect run-away couples even if they are not married.

State bound to protect runaway couple even if in live-in, says Punjab and Haryana high court. 

runaway couples High Court Chandigarh Case
runaway couples High Court Chandigarh Case

The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it plain that a runaway couple is entitled to protection from the court even if one of them is minor and they are in a “live-in” relationship. According to HC the couple is entitled to seek protection of their life and liberty, even if it were a case of a marriage in violation of section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act or merely a consensual relationship.

Here the “Issue in hand is not marriage or their live-in relationship, but the deprivation of fundamental right of seeking protection of life and liberty. Fundamental Right under Article 21 of constitution of India stands on a much higher pedestal. Being sacrosanct under the constitutional scheme it must be protected, regardless of the solemnization of an invalid or void marriage or even the absence of any marriage between the parties,” the HC has held.

Justice Arun Monga of the HC has passed these orders while disposing of a petition filed by Hisar based couple— the man is aged 24 and the girl 16 years and nine months old.

They claim that had to live together due to circumstances triggered by the parents of the girl, who want to marry her off to a person of their choice. They claim that they are mature enough to know what is good or bad.

Conflict raised in the case was that the enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners to seek protection of their “life and liberty” as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India viza-viz a non-marriageable girl as per Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deciding to be in a live-in relationship.


live in relationship/ Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people are not married but live together. They are often involved in a romantic or sexually intimate relationship on a long-term or permanent basis.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India Protection of life and personal liberty. No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Sub-Section (iii) of Section 5 which specified the age of the bride and the groom that is 18 year of bride and 21 of groom.

The HC observed that the mere fact that one of the petitioners is not of marriageable age in the present case would not deprive them of their fundamental right as envisaged in Constitution of India, being citizens of India.

Above all our Constitution is at first and the court gave appropriate steps to provide necessary protection of their life and liberty which was a very good decision in itself.

Without commenting on the legitimacy of the relationship between the petitioners, the HC has directed the SP Hisar to verify the contents of the petition, particularly the threat perception of the petitioners and complaints/representation, and if deemed fit, to take appropriate steps to provide necessary protection of their life and liberty.


This post was written by- Bharti Verma

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