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"... the Courts cannot shut its eyes to such shocking reality whereby marriages are being relegated to contracts for the attainment of ... sinister designs", Justice Fateh Deep Singh observed.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently took critical note that marriages with a contractual tinge have acquired the rampant notoriety in the State of Punjab.
The Court was dealing with an anticipatory bail plea filed by the father of a woman whose husband and his family had filed a complaint accusing her family of cheating.
The couple had married in 2018 on an agreement that the husband side would spend Rs 30 lakhs to help the couple (himself and his wife) shift to Canada.
However, once the woman had reached Canada, it is stated that she did not call her husband. The State also told the Court that the woman's side had refused to refund the money after the woman reached Canada.
This led to the registration of a case under Sections 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on allegations that the man and his family had been deceived.
The woman's father, through Advocate RH Manhas, told the High Court that the matter was purely a matrimonial dispute and that it was sheer providence that the husband did not qualify for immigration. It was argued that the case cannot be given the colour of criminality.
Justice Fateh Deep Singh, however, noted that there are like matters in which "marriages are given contractual tinge and are getting rampant notoriety in the State of Punjab."
The Court, therefore, directed the petitioner (the woman's father) to appear before the investigation officer within 15 days after receiving a certified copy of the order.
Upon such appearance, the Court ordered that the petitioner be released on bail.
Justice Singh added that the petitioner should continue to cooperate with the probe.