The SHO shall assess the threat perception of the petitioners under Article 226: High Court of Punjab and Haryana

The petitioner has filed for a petition seeking writ in the nature of Mandamus with regard to the protection of life and liberty of the petitioners under Article 226 of the constitution of India, which “empowers the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government (in appropriate cases), directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.

In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh, this judgement was given by Honorable Mr Justice Jasgurpreet Singh Puri on the 24th of September 2021 in the case of Safina Begum and another Versus the State of U.T Chandigarh and others [Criminal Writ Petition-9185-2021] Mr Kuldeep Singh represented as the advocate for the petitioner, and the proceedings of the court were held via video conference.

The brief facts of the case are as follows, petitioner no.1 who is a girl 30 years of age was earlier married to somebody else however this marriage was dissolved by divorce. Petitioner no.1 is currently in a live-in-relationship with petitioner no.2 and they have been receiving threats from private respondents as they do not approve of their relationship.

The counsel representing the petitioners held that since both the parties are adults, they have the right to decern right from wrong and they have the right to reside according to their convenience and also have the right to live with whom they want to live with. The present petitioner has been filed only with regard to the protection of life to the petitioners which is their fundamental right under article 21 of the Indian constitution.

The Additional Public Prosecutor, U.T, Chandigarh appeared on behalf of the respondents and held that the police have already enquired about the place of residence of the petitioners which is also on record, it was transpired that the petitioners were actually not residing at that place and therefore without further investigation and enquiry no legal action can be taken.

The counsel representing the petitioner submitted that the reason the residing place of the petitioners is not constant is due to the threat posed by the private respondents and that’s why the petitioner has been wandering around. The counsel further submitted that the petitioner without fail will appear before the concerned SHO at Sector-36, Police Station immediately and get their statements recorded. Therefore, the counsel prays that protection is granted to them.

The Honourable Court held that this petition is only regarding the protection of the life of the petitioners and nothing to do with regard to the relationship of the petitioners. The Court further stated that “the petitioners may appear before the concerned SHO (Station House Officer) of Section 36, Police Station and in the event of their doing so, the concerned SHO shall assess the threat perception of the petitioners and in case, so required, then shall take appropriate steps for the protection of the life of the petitioners. 

The Honourable Court concluded that “It is made further clear that the scope of the petition is only to the extent of protection of the life of the petitioners and it will not be deemed to be any kind of impediment for taking any other action against the petitioner if otherwise, it is so required under the law. The present petition stands disposed of.

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Judgment reviewed by – A. Beryl Sugirtham 

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