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The choice of a partner is a key aspect of the right to life: Superior Court | India News

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CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that parents and guardians cannot assume the law to dictate to their wards how and with whom they should spend their lives after they come of age.
Stating that “the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life,” Judge Alka Sarin said that many parents do not consent to the decision of their children in this regard for fear that society will not accept it. But society cannot determine how an individual should live his life and parents cannot force a child to live a life on their terms, the judge said.
The ruling came in response to a petition filed by a couple from the Jind district of Haryana: a 19-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl who moved in together on January 18. Although they are of legal age, they could not legally marry because the child was not yet 21 years old.
The girl’s family disapproved of the relationship and allegedly threatened the boy with dire consequences, prompting the couple to approach court. Judge Sarin said that since the petitioners have come of age, “they have every right to live their lives as they wish within the four corners of the law.”
“The petitioners seek the protection of their life and liberty, as provided for in Article 21 of the Constitution. Undoubtedly, petitioner number 2 (child) is not of marriageable age; however, it is true that it is an important one. Simply due to the fact that petitioner number 2 (child) is not of marriageable age, it is not possible for the petitioners to be denied the application of their fundamental rights as provided in Article 21. The petitioners, both older , they have decided to live in the relationship and possibly there can be no legally justifiable reason for the defendants (the girl’s family) to oppose it, ”the court’s January 25 order states.
The Jind Police Superintendent was ordered to make a decision on the representation of the couple after assessing the “perceived threat to life and liberty”.

Times of India

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