Saurabh Malik, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 7. Runaway couples are still groping in the corridors of justice. Four years have passed since the Punjab and Haryana High Court suo motu took cognisance of the issue. Yet, runaway couples fleeing persecution are being compelled to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for protection of life and liberty.
Even as the High Court is observing summer vacations, on an average five petitions for protection by the “victims of hate” are being placed before the vacation Benches. The number is significant as the states of Punjab and Haryana have already been asked to put in place a mechanism for protecting the runaway couples from persecution.
In almost all petitions, the couples are expressing apprehensions regarding their safety from kith and kin, while seeking directions to the police to safeguard their interests.
Cautioning the runaway couples against running down the established social norms while racing towards the hymeneal altar, the court in these cases is nowadays asking the youngsters to “think twice” before according precedence to individual interests over society.
The assertion by Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik, in more than one petition, is apparently aimed at easing the natural tension between the interests of individuals and the group as a whole. Referring to Apex Court judgments on the right to life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, Justice Malik has asserted: “It is equally important to note that freedom of the individual is not absolute, but subject to the established and time tested social norms of a civilised society.
Coexistence of freedom of the individual and social control is sine-qua-non (an essential element or condition) for sustainable progress of society and this is also the integral part of our constitutional philosophy.
“Therefore, though the petitioners are entitled for protection to their life and liberty, but at the same time, it is also expected from them and other young citizens like them that before running away from their homes for performing this type of rebellion marriage, they must think twice, besides, listening carefully to their respective parents who are not their enemies, but real well wisher”.