The Punjab and Haryana High Court imposes a 10,000 fee on cohabitants seeking protection in the absence of a life-threatening situation.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court imposes a 10,000 fee on cohabitants seeking protection in the absence of a life-threatening situation.

The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently fined a cohabiting couple 10,000 for filing an application for police protection in the absence of a clear danger to their life or liberty.

During an earlier hearing on the petition, Justice Alok Jain clarified that if the State determined that there was no perceived threat to the petitioners, they would be responsible for 50,000 in court costs. In the absence of any such danger, the Court ruled,

“It was made explicit on the very first date that if it is determined that the petitioners do not perceive a threat, they will be required to pay a minimum of Rs. 50,000/-. Today, however, the petitioners’ counsel requests the withdrawal of the current petition and a reduction in costs. Therefore, the present petition is dismissed, subject to the petitioners’ payment of Rs. 10,000/- within one month of today…”

The court was hearing a petition for protection from a married woman involved in a live-in relationship with an unmarried individual.

The couple had signed a cohabitation agreement on July 17 in Rajasthan, where the petitioner’s matrimonial residence was located. The petitioner had submitted a statement to the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Hisar, Haryana, on the same day. She claimed that when she disclosed her extramarital affair to her parents a week earlier, she was physically accosted by them and her husband and confined to a room.

The couple claimed in their petition to the High Court that they were confronting a life-threatening situation and that their lives were in imminent danger.

The Court had initially observed that the petitioners’ tale was not very convincing and appeared to be a collection of lies.

In an earlier order, the judge had noted, after reviewing the circumstances,

“It is strange that petitioner No. 1 returned to Rajasthan to execute the live-in-relationship deed if she ran away from the matrimonial home a week ago.”

According to the report of the Hisar Deputy Superintendent of Police, the court determined that the petitioners did not perceive any threat. The court allowed the petitioners’ attorney’s request to withdraw the plea and imposed 10,000 in costs to be paid to the High Court Bar Association Lawyer’s Family Welfare Fund.

Attorney Ashwani Vaishnav represented petitioners. An attorney named Anmol Malik defended the State.


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