On Monday (20th July) the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed, “social ethos, outlook and the philosophy appear to be evolving amongst gay couples so as to gather courage and openly come out of their closets.”
The bench of Justice Arun Monga noted that even though gay marriage is not yet legitimate in the country as per the applicable marriage laws, the live-in relationships are becoming common.
The writ petition was filed by two females residing as a live-in couple, praying for the protection of their life and liberty against threats of their families. The petition was being heard by a Single Judge Bench.
The Bench was informed that both the females were majors and had a liking for each other. They have been in a live-in relationship for the last six months and residing in a common accommodation.
Justice Monga recorded that the petitioners have the knowledge of the fact that their relationship is not in the nature of marriage as they belong to the same sex. It was urged before the court that representation for protection had been filed earlier this month before the police but no action has been taken on that.
Justice Monga remarked, “It seems that both the petitioners have prompted to file the instant petition thinking that live-in relationship between the same sex as a couple is not a criminality.”
The bench further said that what could probably be coming in the way of the petitioners is the social unacceptability of their relationship by their parents/family members, due to which they have to live under constant fear.
The Bench did not comment on the legality of their relationship and was of the view that the petitioners are entitled to the protection of their lives and liberty as provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, regardless of their relationship with each other.
Even if it is assumed that they were living together simply as friends, they are constitutionally entitled to live in peace, the bench observed. It further added that the legitimacy of their relationship with each other, therefore, is of no consequence vis-a-vis their right to life and liberty.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohali to look into their representation for protection of their life and liberty.