The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently slapped an Rs. 25K fine on a couple who claimed they were married because they exchanged garlands and conducted “saptapadi” (Saat Phere) in a hotel room by igniting fire in a utensil.
Despite the fact that there was no “legal marriage” and that the petitioners had attempted to deceive the Court, Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill’s bench ordered the Panchkula Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter and their application demanding protection.
Petitioner No.1 (Girl) was 20 years old and petitioner No.2 (Boy) was 19 years and 5 months old when they petitioned the Court for protection of their life and liberty, fearing that respondents No.4 to 8 (relatives of petitioner No.1) would marry them without their will.
They claimed to have married on September 26, 2021, after fleeing their homes, but neither a marriage certificate nor images of the wedding were annexed to their plea.
As a result, the Court granted them the opportunity to provide the necessary information regarding their marriage, and they stated in court that they had stayed in a hotel and that the Boy had applied vermilion (sindoor) on the girl’s forehead, that they had exchanged garlands, and that “saptapadi” was performed by lighting fire in a utensil in the room itself.
However, no sermons were shouted while “saptapadi” was performed, according to the submission.
The Court recognized right away that petitioner No. 2 (Boy) was not of marriageable age and that they had attempted to deceive the Court by claiming that the marriage had been solemnized.
“The aforesaid reasoning appears to be an attempt to hide the fact that the petitioners’ marriage was not genuine, despite the fact that it was indicated in the petition,” the Court said.
In light of this, the Court imposed costs of ‘25,000/- on the petitioners, to be paid in the High Court Legal Services Committee, highlighting that the petitioners did not approach the Court with clean hands and instead attempted to mislead the Court.
However, because the petitioners perceive a threat to their lives and liberty, the Court stated that it cannot abdicate its responsibility to secure and protect the petitioners’ lives and liberty, and thus the petition was dismissed with a direction to the Panchkula Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter and their representation.