Live­-in Relationship Between Two Consenting Adults of Heterosexual Sex does not Amount to Any Offence: Allahabad High Court

Live­-in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex does not amount to any offence: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court while considering a writ petition filed by a couple who feared the threat of harassment and intimidation by family members noted that to enable protection to women in live-in relationships, the Domestic Violence Act as been enacted to cover couples having a relationship in the nature of marriage.

Also Read: Allahabad High Court: Right to Live with a Person of his/her Choice Irrespective of Religion Professed by Them, is Intrinsic to Right to Life and Personal Liberty

Brief Background of the Case

The first petitioner, a woman aged 24 years and the 2nd petitioner, a 28-year old man was in love with each other. The family members (respondents) of the first petitioners were forcibly trying to solemnize her marriage with another person, but she chose to live together with the 2nd petitioner. Hence, they filed a writ petition for a direction upon the respondents not to interfere in their peaceful living and also for the protection of their lives and liberty.

They stated that they have been living together for the past six months but their family members are trying to interfere with their peaceful life. Though complaints were made to police, no action was taken.

Also Read: The Right Of Any Major Individual To Marry The Person Of His/Her Choice Irrespective Of Caste Or Religion Is A Fundamental Right

Observation made by the Court

  • The Court noted that, Live­in relationship is a relationship which has not been socially accepted in India, unlike many other countries. In the case of Lata Singh vs. State of U.P. reported in (2006) 2 SCC  (Cri) 478, it was observed that a Live­in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex does not amount to any offence even though it may be perceived as immoral. However, in order to provide a remedy in civil law for the protection of women, from being victims of such relationship, and to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence in the society, first time in India, the DV Act has been enacted to cover the couple having a relationship in the nature of marriage, persons related by consanguinity, marriages, etc. We have a few other legislations also where reliefs have been provided to women placed in certain vulnerable situations.
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  • The matter in issue has already been dealt with in great detail by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Indra Sharma  vs. V.K.V. Sharma reported in (2013) 15 SCC.  Apart from the same Hon’ble Apex Court in a long line of decisions has settled the law that where a boy and a girl are major and they are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents has authority to interfere with their living together. Reference may be made to the judgments of the Supreme Court in the cases of Gian Devi v. The Superintendent, Nari Niketan, Delhi and others,  (1976)  3 SCC 234; Lata Singh v. State of U.P. and another, (2006) 5 SCC 475;  and, Bhagwan Dass v. State (NCT of  Delhi),  (2011) 6  SCC  396,  which have consistently been followed by theSupreme Court and this Court, as well as of this Court in Deepika and another v. State of U.P. and others,  2013  (9) ADJ 534, it added.
  • The Court in the present case held that, “Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the petitioners are at liberty to live together and no person shall be permitted to interfere in their peaceful living. As right to life is a fundamental right insured under Article 21 of the Constitution of India in which it is provided that no person shall be deprived of his right to life and personal liberty”.

Case Name: Kamini Devi And Another v. State Of U.P. And 4 Others

Citation: WRIT ­ C No. ­ 11108 of 2020

Coram: Hon’ble Anjani Kumar Mishra,J. and  Hon’ble Prakash Padia,J.

Live­-in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex does not amount to any offence: Allahabad High Court

Also Read: [Live-In Relation In India] Is Live-In Relation A Valid Marriage?

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