Allahabad High Court


Allahabad High Court: In a criminal writ petition filed for quashing the First Information Report (‘FIR’) for offence under Section 366 of Penal Code, 1860, the division bench of Suneet Kumar and Syed Waiz Mian, JJ. while quashing the impugned FIR, held that since both the petitioners are major, no authority or person should intervene or intercept their enjoyment of live-in-relationship and has directed the State respondents to ensure protection of their life and liberty.

The petitioners claim to be major as per their High School Certificate and Aadhaar Card. It is pleaded that the female petitioner has left her father’s house on her freewill and was living with the male petitioner. Thus, the ingredients of the offence under Section 366 IPC are not made out.

The Court placed reliance on Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 368, wherein the Court has emphasised due importance to the right of choice of an adult person, which the Constitution accords to him/her, and on Nandakumar v. State of Kerala, (2018) 16 SCC 602 wherein it was held that “Even if two majors are not competent to enter into wedlock, they have right to live together even outside wedlock. It would not be out of place to mention that live-in relationship is now recognised by the Legislature itself which has found its place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The Court said that the date of birth of both the petitioners specify them to be major and they claim their decision to be based upon voluntarily will/option. Consequently, since both are major, no authority or person should intervene or intercept their enjoyment of live-in-relationship. Further, having regard to the threat to the life of the petitioners, directed the Police to provide security to the petitioners.

[Dolly Gupta v. State of UP, 2022 SCC OnLine All 920, decided on 23-12-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for Petitioner:- Diwakar Shukla;

Counsel for Respondent:- Government Advocate.

*Apoorva Goel, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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