Protection of right to life and liberty by the State and balance between individual freedom and social norms are an integral part of the constitutional philosophy

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While considering the present issue that whether the petitioners should be granted protection of their life by the State, R.S. Malik, J., observed that Article 21 of the Constitution, that enshrines the most precious fundamental right to life and liberty, must be protected. However the Court also stated that individual freedom being subject to time tested and established social norms is also an important part of the constitutional philosophy. The petitioners therefore, were held to be entitled for the protection of their life and liberty by the State.

In the present case came in the wake of the private respondent’s refusal to accept the marriage of the petitioners. The petitioners via their counsel R.K. Mattoo, contended before the Court that there is an apprehension for their life and liberty from the private respondents.

The Court relying on the decisions laid down by the Supreme Court A.K.Gopalan v. State of Madras, AIR 1950 SC 27, Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, (1994) 3 SCC 569, and State of West Bengal v. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, (2010) 3 SCC 571, observed that the instant case is a fit case for exercising the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 of CrPC. .However, the Court also observed that young citizens like the petitioners are expected to think twice before performing ‘rebellion marriage’ and the Court does not intend to put its seal of approval on the marriage of the petitioners since it was not an issue involved in the present petition, but only provide protection to the lives of the petitioners as against the private respondents. [Laltesh Kumari v. State of Haryana, 2015 SCC OnLine P&H 9961, Decided on 18.12.2015]

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