P&H HC | Merely living together for few days is not live-in-relationship; HC imposes cost of Rs 25000 on runaway couple

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a case where a young couple who had started living in a hotel two days ago had approached the Court for protection, Manoj Bajaj, J., imposed a cost of Rs. 25000. The Bench expressed,

“Merely because the two adults are living together for few days, their claim of live-in-relationship based upon bald averment may not be enough to hold that they are truly in live-in-relationship.”

The petitioners, one Himani, aged 18 years and Rohit Kumar aged 20 years and 06 months had stated to fell in love with each other, who decided to marry on attaining the age of majority. The petitioners contended that when the relationship of the petitioners came to the knowledge of parents of the girl, they turned against their alliance and decided to marry her with a boy of their own choice, therefore, she ran away from her house on 24-11-2021 and was now residing with petitioner 2 in live in-relationship. The petitioners submitted that the parents of the girl had extended threats to the petitioners that they would implicate them in a false criminal case.

Noticeably, the petitioners had started residing together in live-in relationship only w.e.f. 24-11-2021 and in response to the query that whether they had taken a house on rent, the petitioners  stated that for the time being, they had been living in a hotel. Considering that there was a specific pleading in the petition that petitioner 1 had been given shelter by petitioner 2 and his parents and were taking care of her needs. In the memo of parties also, address of petitioner 2 had been shown as place of residence of both the petitioners, the Bench opined that the apprehension of threat expressed by the petitioners was misplaced, as admittedly, no complaint has been made so far against them by the private respondents. The Bench added,

“Even, if it is assumed, that a complaint is given to the police by any of the private respondents against the petitioners, then it cannot be construed as threat to their life and liberty, as private respondents are also free to avail their remedy in law in case, they feel that some offence has been committed.”

The Bench remarked, amongst exuberant youngsters, who seldom in pursuit of absolute freedom leave the company of their parents etc. to live with the person of their choice, in order to get the seal of the court to their alliance, they file petitions for protection by posing threat to their life and liberty. Majority of such petitions contain formal symbolic averments, grounds with imaginary cause of action, and are rarely founded upon ‘actual’ or ‘real’ existence of threat, and these types of cases consume considerable time of the Court, that too at the cost of many other cases waiting in line for hearing.

Considering that concept of live-in-relationship between two adults of opposite gender has got recognition in India, as the legislature has injected some legitimacy in this kind of alliance, while promulgating “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005” and liberally defined “domestic relationship” in Section 2(f), the Bench reminded,

“It has to be constantly borne in mind that the length of the relationship coupled with discharge of certain duties and responsibilities towards each other makes such relationship akin to the marital relations.”

In view of above, the Bench held that the petition had been filed without a valid cause of action, therefore, the writ petition was dismissed with costs of Rs.25,000 to be borne by the petitioners and it was ordered that the same be deposited with the Institute of Blind. [Himani v. State of Haryana, CRWP-11197-2021, decided on 26-11-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Deepak K. Bartia, Advocate

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