IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
CRWP No.500 of 2017
Date of Decision : 22.05.2017
STATE OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS
CORAM : HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE AMOL RATTAN SINGH
Present: Mr. Amandeep Singh Manaise, Advocate
for the petitioner.
Mr. Rajesh Mehta, Addl. A.G., Punjab
for respondent Nos.1 to 4/State.
Mr. Sarvesh Kumar Gupta, Advocate
for respondent No. 5-Vishal Kumar.
AMOL RATTAN SINGH, JUDGE (ORAL)
Pursuant to the order dated 11.05.2017, the DCP
(Investigation), Amritsar, is stated to be present in Court instead of the SSP
(Rural), Amritsar, because, as contended by learned State Counsel, the
Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, is impleaded as respondent No. 2.
On query, learned State Counsel, however, admits that the
police station concerned falls within the jurisdiction of the SSP (Rural),
Amritsar, who had actually been directed to be present in Court.
However, the DSP (Investigation), Amritsar (Rural), is also
present in Court as stated by learned State Counsel.
Learned State Counsel, on instructions from the police officers
present, submits that the order of this Court dated 08.05.2017, to the effect
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that the alleged detenue, Labhpreet Kaur, be produced in Court on
11.05.2017, could not be complied with, as the said Labhpreet Kaur told the
police officials, who had gone to get her, that her husband being unwell on
that date, she could not come. Whereas the story is slightly difficult to
believe, however, keeping in view the fact that the said girl, i.e. Labhpreet
Kaur, sister of the petitioner, is present in Court today, her non-production
on the last date is left at that.
She has been specifically asked by this Court as to whether she
wishes to go with the petitioner, i.e. her brother, or not, to which she has
replied that she would like to go back to her husband.
Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, submits that
Labhpreet Kaur is a minor, with her date of birth actually being 15.09.1999
and therefore, her natural custody would be with her parents.
Factually, though even as per the Guardians and Wards Act,
1890, that would be true, however, the petitioner not being the father of
Labhpreet Kaur, obviously, she cannot be forced to go back with the
petitioner against her wishes.
As regards the allegations that Labhpreet Kaur and her husband
Vishal Kumar, i.e. respondent No.5 herein, allegedly forged the date of birth
of Labhpreet Kaur when they filed CRM-M No.14777 of 2017, as has been
contended by learned counsel for the petitioner, that matter is left open to be
gone into in appropriate proceedings, as also the issue of initiation of action
against Labhpreet Kaur and respondent No.5, if they are found liable for
prosecution under the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,
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2006, i.e. if she is indeed found to be of less than marriageable age.
This petition being one seeking a writ in the nature of habeas
corpus, with the petitioner not being the natural guardian of Labhpreet
Kaur, and even though she is allegedly under the age of 18 years, having
married respondent No.5, it is not considered appropriate to direct her to go
with her brother rather than back to her husband.
This petition is, therefore, disposed of with the aforesaid
(AMOL RATTAN SINGH)
May 22, 2017
Whether speaking/reasoned: Yes
Whether reportable: Yes
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