The Punjab and Haryana high court has granted protection to many youngsters who ran away from their homes to get married; but the help comes with a piece of advice.
On scores of petitions in the recent past, the high court bench of justice Rameshwar Singh Malik has observed that though the couples marrying against the wishes of their parents were entitled to protection “but it is also expected from them and other young citizens… that they would think twice before running away, and listen to their parents, who are not their enemies but real well wishers”.
Another bench of justice K Kannan took on his colleagues for passing judgments that did not help society fight “honour killings”. “...our own judicial approaches through the pronouncements of the Punjab and Haryana high court have also not helped the process (to counter honour killings). There is no unified attempt to evolve a strategy to put a stop to these serious maladies,” the HC bench had observed while citing the similar order another bench had given on a previous occasion. A month ago, Justice Kannan had ordered the Haryana government to constitute a separate cell in every district for receiving complaints from couples who see threat to their lives and liberty from parents, relatives and khap panchayats. The verdict was highlighted on the high court website.
The bench of justice Malik has recorded that there is constitutional mandate and law to protect runaway couples. But “the freedom of the individual is not absolute but subject to the established and time-tested social norms of a civilised society. The co-existence of the freedom of the individual and social control is sine-qua-non (essential condition) for the sustainable progress of society, and this is also the integral part of our constitutional philosophy,” the HC bench stated further, asking the “rebel couples” to think of their parents before eloping.