Priest gets into legal trouble for performing minor’s marriage - ECAS Punjab

Priest gets into legal trouble for performing minor’s marriage

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8

When Pandit Sonu Sharma performed a minor girl's marriage, little did he realise that he was tying knot with trouble. Taking up a protection matter filed by a runaway couple, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed his production before a Chief Judicial Magistrate's court. He has also been directed to bear the travelling expenses of two police officials accompanying him to the court.

Venesis of case in protection plea

  • Taking up a protection plea filed by a runaway couple, the HC observes that the girl's own declaration in the petition shows she's a minor. The court directs the priest's production before a CJM's court.

The case has its genesis in a petition filed by the couple against the State of Punjab and other respondents. Appearing before Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan's Bench through videoconferencing, the counsel for the petitioners sought directions to the officials respondents to protect their life and liberty on the ground that the marriage was performed against the wishes of the bride's parents and family. The

counsel submitted the petitioners were, as such, apprehending threat to their life and liberty at their instance.

Taking up the matter, Justice Sangwan directed the petitioners and three other respondents to appear before Ludhiana Chief Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate on September 15 for recording the statement of the parties. The CJM/DM was also asked to submit a report on the girl's age.

Justice Sangwan observed it was the girl's own declaration in the petition that her date of birth was July 5, 2003, in the matriculation certificate and as such her age came out to be 17 years, two months and three days.

Justice Sangwan also directed the station house officer of Sahnewal police station in Ludhiana district to ensure the presence of petitioners and the respondent before the CJM on the date fixed.

The CJM was also directed to record the statement of Pandit Sonu Sharma of Panchkula on the date fixed "as to how he has performed the marriage without taking any proof regarding age of petitioner-girl to be above 18".

"The SHO, MDC police station, Sector 4, Panchkula, is also directed to ensure the presence of Pandit Sonu Sharma before the CJM, Ludhiana, on September 15. The SHO will depute two police officials and Pandit Sonu Sharma will pay an amount of Rs 3,000 to the SHO towards the cost transportation," Justice Sangwan added.

Before parting with the order, Justice Sangwan directed the submission of the CJM's report to the High Court by the next date of hearing. The case will now come up for hearing in September third week.

from The Tribune

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