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Live In Relationship: Punjab High Court

The facts describe the girl's relationship with her partner. Her parents wanted her to marry someone of their preference, so she left her parental house to live with her companion. In a couple's decision to stay together in a living relationship, the Punjab and Haryana High Court refused to intervene, without the sacredness of a marriage, stating that it is not for the courts to decide on their agreement if a couple have decided.

It is not up to courts of justice to decide on their decisions, stated the Sant Parkash court bench during the hearing of the petition lodged by a 17-year-old girl and 20-year-old boy from Bathinda in Punjab. The petitioners have decided to remain together without the sanctity of marriage.

They went to the court for protection from the girl's family. On repudiating the protection of the people who opt for living relations with dire consequences, the Court said:
It would be a travesty of the courts if the protection of the individual is denied to people who chose to reside together without the sanctity of the marriageŁ.

The most important factor that the bench raised that the court would also fail to give citizens the right to their live and freedom as laid down in Article 21 of the Constitution of India for observance of the rule of law if such a course is adopted and protection is denied.

The court substantially mentioned at this stage, one cannot lose sight of honor killings which are rampant in northern portions of India, particularly in areas of states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh highlighting family killings in the name of honor. The bench remarked honor killing occurs when people marry without their families' permission, or when they marry outside their caste or religion.

It is not for any other person, whether it a family member, to oppose and pose an impediment to a major's quiet existence once he or she has chosen his or her spouse. At this point, it is on to the state to secure their safety and personal liberty. The applicants had not requested the court for permission to marry or for approval of their relationship, the judge stated. The concept of a live-in relationship may not be acceptable to all, but it cannot be stated that such a relationship is illegal or that living together without the sanctity of marriage constitutes a crime, the court ruled, noting that such a relationship is not an infraction.

The court went on to say that once a major has selected his or her partner, no other person, including family members, has the right to object and disrupt their tranquil lives. The bench said, At this moment, it is for the State to assure their protection and personal liberty.

Remarkably, the Supreme Court has granted protection to a live-in couple in Tarn Taran, whose petition was dismissed by the high court on May 11 on the grounds that they were seeking seal of approval for their relationship, which was morally and socially unacceptable and that no protection order could be issued in the petition.

In its order dated 4 June, the Apex Court granted protection stating, The Superintendent of the Police must act swiftly in accordance with law, including providing the petitioners with all protection against apprehension and threats, without prejudice to observations by the High Court, which is of no use to declare that since it concerns life and freedom.

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