Convicted couple seek conjugal rights

Convicted couple seek conjugal rights

Sonia, a lifer, with her husband Jasvir, sentenced to death in the same case, in their marriage photo. Courtesy NDTV

Sonia, serving life sentence,  has urged the court to allow her to live with her husband, Jasvir, sentenced to death in the same case, so that he could beget a child before being hanged.

In a petition filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the couple currently lodged in Patiala jail, has submitted that propagation of progeny was ingrained in the fundamental right to life. Contending that Jasvir was the only son of his parents, the couple has sought permission to live together in the jail for the sole purpose of procreation so that their family lineage could be continued.

The couple, who had been married for only eight months, had kidnapped a 16-year old boy in Hoshiarpur in Punjab for demanding a ransom of Rs 50 lakh from his parents. However, an overdose of sedatives they administered to the boy killed him. Initially the lower court had awarded death sentence to the couple. Later, High Court commuted it to life sentence  in the case of Sonia while maintaining the death sentence for her husband.

Counsel for the couple, Gursharan Kaur Mann, urged before the court that the petitioners had the right to life till one of them was executed as per court orders. “The right to life included the right to propagate the species, of which sex life is a part of the right,” the counsel contended.

Quoting examples from other countries, he contended that couples were granted regulated conjugal rights in these countries and the experiment was successful.

The counsel submitted that the couple could be separated the day Sonia’s pregnancy was  medically confirmed. The petition will be taken up for the next hearing on May 24.

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