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'Right to human life is paramount...': Punjab-Haryana HC orders protection for minor girl opposing forced marriage

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has affirmed that minors have the same fundamental rights as adults under the Indian Constitution while ordering police to provide protection to a girl opposing forced marriage. The High Court has made it clear that the right to life is paramount and must be protected regardless of age.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Shgun S -- June 18th 2024 02:55 PM
'Right to human life is paramount...': Punjab-Haryana HC orders protection for minor girl opposing forced marriage

'Right to human life is paramount...': Punjab-Haryana HC orders protection for minor girl opposing forced marriage

PTC Web Desk: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has affirmed that minors have the same fundamental rights as adults under the Indian Constitution while ordering police to provide protection to a girl opposing forced marriage. The High Court has made it clear that the right to life is paramount and must be protected regardless of age. 

The assertion came as the high court's Vacation Bench stepped in to rescue a minor who claimed her family was trying to marry her off to an "old" man without her consent.


Among other things, the Court directed the Child Welfare Committee to make appropriate decisions regarding the minor's boarding and lodging, as well as to conduct an inquiry into "all issues relating to and affecting the safety and well-being of the child/minor".

“It is the bounden duty of the state as per the constitutional obligations casted upon it to protect the life and liberty of every citizen. The right to human life is to be treated on much a higher pedestal, regardless of a citizen being a minor or a major. The mere fact that the petitioner is minor would not deprive her of the fundamental right as envisaged in the Constitution of India, being citizen of India,” Justice Harsh Bunger said.

As the case came up for a preliminary hearing, Justice Bunger's Bench was informed that the minor was beaten and pressured to marry the old man chosen by her parents, after which she fled her parental home on June 2 and eventually sought refuge in a friend's home. The state counsel, on the other hand, stated that the Ferozepur Senior Superintendent of Police would investigate the minor's representation before taking appropriate legal action.

Justice Bunger stated that the minor would appear or be produced by a friend in the Ferozepur SSP's office within three days, failing which the officer would depute a child welfare police officer to produce her before the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Committee within a week.

The committee would then conduct an inquiry before issuing appropriate orders, involving all stakeholders and ensuring that the Juvenile Justice Act's objectives were met. Ferozepur SSP was also directed to take appropriate action in the case of a perceived threat to the petitioner, her friend, and his family.

- PTC NEWS

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