A young couple’s claim that they had taken holy vows of marriage by taking the ‘saat pheras’ around the fire lit in a utensil in a hotel room was not enough to convince the Punjab and Haryana High Court that they are married. The court imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the couple stating that it was “not a valid marriage ceremony”.
The woman is 20-year-old while the boy is 19 years and 5 months of age. The duo had approached the court to seek the protection of their lives and liberty fearing threat at the hands of their relatives as they had married against their wishes.
In a runaway marriage, the couple on September 26 married in a hotel room but they don’t have any marriage certificate to show or any photographs taken to provide before the court.
As per the information provided by the couple before the court, they submitted that they had stayed in a hotel and the boy applied vermilion (sindoor) and exchanged garlands before taking ‘saat pheras’ under the traditional custom by lighting a fire in a utensil in the hotel room. There was no mantra recited at the time, they said.
The court, however, observed that the boy was not of marriageable age and that the couple were trying to mislead the court that they had got married. “The aforesaid explanation appears to be an attempt to cover up the fact that in fact there was no valid marriage amongst the petitioners though it has been stated so in the petition,” the court said.
Given this, underscoring that the petitioners didn’t approach the HC with clean hands and have rather made an attempt to mislead the court, the court burdened the petitioners with costs of Rs 25,000 to be paid to the High Court Legal Services Committee.
However, the court ordered the Panchkula police commissioner to provide protection to the couple since they apprehend a threat to their lives and liberty.