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
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
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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