Punjab & Haryana HC Quotes Shakespeare For Plight Of Runaway Couples

Justice Sumeet Goel of Punjab and Haryana High Court quoted a line from William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' while directing courts to be flexible while overlooking the FIRs registered in the case of runaway couples.

Rudrani Gupta
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"Love looks not with the eyesbut with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind," quoted Justice Sumeet Goel of Punjab and Haryana High Court from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream while directing courts to be flexible while hearing the FIRs registered in the case of runaway couples. The judge said that the courts must consider quashing kidnapping cases involving couples who eloped and settled down. 


As per the court, Justice Goel was dealing with a case of a man against whom an FIR was filed in 2009 for enticing a girl to elope with him and marry him. The man was arrested after seven years and subsequently got bail. He filed a plea in the high court for quashing the FIR. 

The man had married the woman in 2010 and now the couple has three three kids. 

The court's judgement on the petition and quashing the FIR

The court said that the instance of fathers or guardians registering FIRs against men with whom their daughters eloped is quite common. Justice Goel said, More often than not, this Court is faced with an incessant ream of petitions wherein the father/guardian has registered an FIR by stating that his daughter has been enticed away by the accused." 

The court noted the fact that the couple were in a relationship earlier and had to run away because their parents didn't approve of their marriage. Justice Goel said, "For parents to tether their affinity towards a daughter only through (injured) honour, psychogenic pain of separation or sheer dominance of Will is neither altruistic nor a kindred affinity, both of which are necessary foundations to a family."

He further said that parents need to accept the fact that their children can make individual choices and those choices cannot be reversed. The court criticised the “unabated withering” of the couple's marriage and said it was discouraging and embarrassing. 


Quoting Shakespeare's The Midsummer Night's Dream, Justice Goel said, "A marriage is a matter of more worth than to be dealt in by attorneyship”.

Quoting this, Judge said that the relentlessness of parents cannot be “extant ad infinitum ad nauseam” He further said that it makes no sense to accuse a man who has already married the woman in question. 

The court's message for other judges

Based on this hearing, the judge said that it would not serve its purpose if a high court declined to use its power to quash FIRs in runaway couples' cases. Although the action must be according to the facts and circumstances of the case.

Even if the woman in the FIR is a minor, it is not a ground for rejecting to quash the FIR. 

“Where the impugned FIR pertains to allegation of offences under Sections 363-A/366 of IPC & it emerges that the accused and the victim have married each other and are living happily, the High Court ought to consider, with a high degree of latitude, such plea for quashing such an FIR … Such plea would be fortified in case child has been born from the wedlock,” Justice Goel said. 

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