“Every major person has a right to live their life with the person of their choice”; Punjab and Haryana High Court directs Police to protect the life and liberty of a ‘Live in Relationship’ couple

Punjab and Haryana High Court

   

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the instant petition preferred by the petitioners to seek protection from the threats received for being in Live-in relationship, Vikas Bahl, J., held that every major person has a right to live with a person of their choice and in case the relatives are unhappy with the “Live in Relationship” and can cause harm then the Court will have to take necessary directions to protect the aggrieved.

Facts:

Both the petitioners are major and are in a “Live in relationship.” One of the petitioners is still married to the respondent and no legal divorce has been taken yet. The petitioners seek protection from their relatives as they are a threat to the petitioners’ life. On 13-09-2022, the petitioners made representation to the Punjab police which was not decided by the authorities.

Observation and Analysis:

The Court cited Ishrat Bano v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1726, wherein it was held that “ No doubt in case a criminal case is registered against any of the parties, the law should take its own course, however, the life and liberty of any person who has approached the Court with such a grievance need to be taken care of and the protection be provided as permissible in law. No person can be permitted or allowed to take law in his hands.”

In view of the above, the Court granted protection of life and liberty to the petitioners without taking into consideration the issue as to whether the relationship between the parties was legal or not.

The Court said that protection of life and liberty is a basic feature of the Constitution, and every major person has a right to live their life with the person of their choice.

Further, the Court said that if the relatives of the persons in such a relationship are unhappy and threaten them to cause harm to their life and liberty then the Court will have to take necessary steps to protect them.

The Court, without commenting on the legality of the relationship, directed the Punjab police to assess the threat perception to the petitioners and after considering the same, take appropriate action in accordance with law.

[Manjeet Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 2460, decided on 20-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

For the Petitioners: Ms. Akshita Charak, Advocate;

Mr. Sahil Goel, Advocate;

For the Respondents: Mr. Tarun Aggarwal, Sr. DAG, Punjab.

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