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“This is not America”, is what the Delhi High Court Friday told a 22-year-old woman in a live-in relationship with her brother-in-law, who had deserted her sister and two children and sought the court protection on the ground that they faced a threat to their lives from her family members.

Justice Hema Kohli pulled up the woman and the 25-year-old married man, saying, “This is not America. You have no right under the Hindu Marriage Act to marry twice. Anyway, the boy has his wife and she is alive and with two kids to look after…”

The court asked Delhi Police to submit a status report by July 26.

The court was hearing a petition of Puja (name changed) and Raj Kumar (name changed), who asked the court for protection as they feared a threat to their lives from her family members.

“We are citizens of India by birth, and therefore we have legal and constitutional rights to pray to this court to safeguard their lives,” stated their petition to the Delhi High Court.

The two told the court that the woman’s sister had no problems with her being in a live-in relationship with Kumar. However, the court frowned upon their argument: “I will not allow you for this.”

Puja claimed to have been “friends” with her brother-in-law for the last six years.

On Jan 1 this year, she decided that she wanted to go and live with Raj Kumar. However, her parents objected.

Raj Kumar left his wife and two kids and both started living together in an unknown place in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the couple on Jan 4 entered into a “friendship agreement” for life, so that no legal action can be taken against them, stating that they are good friends for the last six years.

Puja’s parents, who lodged a missing person report at a police station, one day came across the information that Puja was living with Kumar.

On the parents’ complaint, the police on Jan 6 in civil uniform came to sector-3 of South Rohini and picked up Kumar’s father as he refused to divulge information regarding the couple.

Kumar then contacted the police to rescue his father. Subsequently, Puja and Raj Kumar approached the court, seeking its protection.

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