Stating that the state government cannot shirk its duty to ensure safety of its citizens, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the SSP of Chandigarh Police to consider a plea by two women seeking protection of their life and liberty from their families who did not approve of their intention of ‘same-sex marriage’.
Dhanvinder Singh Nigha, the counsel for the women, who are 21 and 24 years old, in a plea has submitted that the petitioners are well educated and are pursuing private jobs. The plea also says that the women have known each other for three years and have also worked at a common work-place.
On account of their fondness for each other, they have been residing together in a live-in relationship, but have not solemnised their marriage as ‘same-sex marriage’ is not legalised in India, thus far.
The counsel further contended that since the petitioners apprehended threat to their lives and liberty from their relatives, they have submitted a plea in March this year before Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police, about which nothing was done.
The Centre, in response to a bunch of petitions filed to seek recognition for same sex marriage under the law, had told the Supreme Court last month that the “legislative understanding of marriage in the Indian statutory and personal law regime” refers only to marriage between a biological man and biological woman — and any interference “would cause a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country and in accepted societal values.” The Supreme Court had subsequently stated that the matter raised questions of “seminal importance”, and referred the bunch of petitions to a five-judge Constitution Bench.
Hearing the matter, Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill said, “Article 21 of the Constitution of India specifically provides that no person shall be deprived of their life or personal liberty, except according to procedure established by law. The state is duty bound to ensure the safety of its citizens.”
“Though this court will refrain from commenting upon the validity of the reasons… but the state cannot shirk from its duty to ensure safety of its citizens…,” Justice Gill said.