Allahabad High Court: The Division Bench of Anjani Kumar Mishra and Prakash Padia, JJ., addressed a petition wherein, two major adults who were in a live-in relation sought protection from harassment for living together.
The facts in the instant case are that petitioner 1 is a major and is aged about 24 years and petitioner 2 is aged about 28 years.
Both the petitioners decided to be in a live-in relationship without any compulsion or coercion.
Though respondents 4 and 5 forcibly tried to solemnize petitioner 1’s marriage against her wishes and on knowing the said fact, petitioner 1 decided to live with Ajay Kumar with her own free will and without fear and pressure.
It has been added that both the petitioners have been happily living with each other but respondent 4 and 5 tried to harass them.
In view of the harassment, petitioner 1 had filed a complaint seeking protection, but no action has been taken till date. Further, it was argued the law laid down by the Supreme Court from time to time petitioners are legally entitled to Live-in relationship without any fear or pressure more especially when they are major.
Since no action was taken by the police authorities, the present petition was filed.
In the Supreme Court decision of Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, it was observed that a live-in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex does not amount to any offence even though it may be perceived as immoral.
In order to provide a remedy in civil law for the protection of women, from being victims of such relationship, and to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence in the society, first time in India, the DV Act has been enacted to cover the couple having a relationship in the nature of marriage, persons related by consanguinity, marriages, etc.
Few other legislations have been provided with respect to reliefs to women placed in certain vulnerable situations.
The issue in the instant matter had been already dealt with in the Supreme Court decision of Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sharma, (2013) 15 SCC 755.
Apart from the Supreme Court decision, a long line of decisions has settled the law that:
where a boy and a girl are major and they are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents has the authority to interfere with their living together.
Bench further opined that the petitioners are at liberty to live together and no person shall be permitted to interfere in their peaceful living.
Court further added that, in case any disturbance is caused in the peaceful living of the petitioners, the petitioners shall approach the Senior Superintendent of Police.[Kamini Devi v. State of U.P., Writ C No. 11108 of 2020, decided on 23-11-2020]