The Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that Aadhaar cards are not a firm proof of age.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh made the observation on September 7, on a petition filed by a married couple, seeking protection of life and liberty at the hands of Private Respondents.
Karandeep S. Sidhu, Counsel for the petitioners, stated that neither are the petitioners in any prohibited relationship to each other, nor any of them has been married earlier. He states that he has obtained specific instructions from the petitioners in that regard.
Observing that since the protection of life and liberty is a fundamental right of every citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, without making any comment whatsoever on the validity of the marriage, or otherwise, the Court disposed of the plea with a direction to the state authorities to ensure that the lives and liberty of the petitioners are not put to any harm or threat at the hands of the Private Respondents, or at their behest.
The Court further observed that since there is no firm proof of age of either of the petitioners other than their Aadhar Cards, which is actually not a firm proof of age, “if any of the petitioners are found to be below the marriageable age in terms of the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, this order shall not be construed to be a bar on any proceedings initiated under that Act, the offences committed under that Act being cognizable in terms of Section 15 thereof.”
The Bench clarified that if any of the averments made in the petition is found to be incorrect, specifically with regard to either the petitioners being in any prohibited relationship to each other, or as regards their previous marital status, this order shall not be construed to be a bar on proceedings initiated as per law.