The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted protection to a 21-year-old lady and a 19-year-old man after observing that the two, being major, are entitled to live together in a live-in relationship.
A single judge bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi stated, “In the present case the petitioners being major are entitled to live together in live-in-relationship and are also entitled to protection of their life and liberty against any harm from respondents.”
The petition was filed by the couple seeking protection from the lady’s family who apparently forcibly wanted the girl to get married to some other guy against her choice. The couple was also allegedly threatened of being killed by the family for the sake of their family prestige.
The petitioners stated that the boy being 19 years of age had not attained the age of maturity, thus they would get married as soon as the marriageable age is attained.
Being in a live-in relationship together, the couple had written a representation to the Senior Superintendent of Police seeking necessary protection however no step was taken. Deciding upon the same the Court direct the police to grant protection to the couple.
The High Court, in a similar development the previous month, had granted police protection to a boy (18) and a girl (19) living in a live-in relationship.
Observing that both the petitioner were above the age of 18 years, though the boy was not of marriageable age, the Court said, “It is evident that both the petitioners are above the age of 18 years, however, the boy is not of marriageable age. The live-in-relationship nowadays is not a new phenomenon but the society has not evolved to the extent of accepting such relationship without raising the eyebrows to such relationship.”
Further, the Court said, “Time and again Hon'ble Apex Court as well as various other High Courts have accepted the live-in-relationship and have come to the rescue of the couple as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Though issue raised by the petitioners in the petition is qua their live in-relationship and their fundamental right to their life and liberty as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India but the Court is concerned only with their right under Article 21 of the Constitution.”