Grant protection if threat to life & liberty is perceived: HC to Chandigarh Police

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
| Chandigarh |

Updated: November 20, 2020 8:59:49 am

Punjab and Haryana High Court (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Hearing a petition submitted by two members of the LGBTQ community seeking protection on grounds that they were being harassed by their families over their decision to live together, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed Chandigarh Police to grant them protection, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived.

The women, aged 22 and 19 years, approached the High Court through their counsels, advocates Arjun Sheoran and Amrita Garg, seeking protection of their life and liberty.

The petitioners’ counsels contended before HC on Thursday that they are a same sex couple staying together out of their own volition. However, they are facing harassment at the hands of their family members and relatives on account of their decision to live together.

Advocate Sheoran further submitted that the petitioners, being adults, have taken a conscious decision to be with each other as a couple, however, this decision is being objected to by their families.

The couple had submitted a representation on November 7 to the Chandigarh SSP, but no action has been taken thereon. Thus, they approached High Court for protection.

The counsel for UT in reply submitted that since the petitioners have not disclosed the address where they are residing, it would be difficult for Chandigarh police to provide protection. The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners submitted that as soon as this court orders protection to their life and liberty, they will inform the police of their place of residence.

After hearing the matter, the bench directed the SSP to decide the representation of the petitioners within a week from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, and grant them protection, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived. It was made clear that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners from legal action for violation of law, if any committed by them. This direction is subject to the petitioners furnishing details of the residence they intend to reside in, held the bench.

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