'SC's Views On 'Live-In' Matters Can't Be Considered To Promote Such Relations': Allahabad HC Rejects Interfaith Live-In Couple's Protection Plea

Sparsh Upadhyay

23 Jun 2023 4:31 PM GMT

  • SCs Views On Live-In Matters Cant Be Considered To Promote Such Relations: Allahabad HC Rejects Interfaith Live-In Couples Protection Plea

    While dismissing a plea filed by an interfaith live-in couple seeking protection against alleged harassment at the hands of the police, the Allahabad High Court recently observed that the views expressed by the Supreme Court pertaining to 'live-in' relationships "cannot be considered to promote such relationships"Observing that traditionally, Law has been biased in favour of marriage, the...

    While dismissing a plea filed by an interfaith live-in couple seeking protection against alleged harassment at the hands of the police, the Allahabad High Court recently observed that the views expressed by the Supreme Court pertaining to 'live-in' relationships "cannot be considered to promote such relationships"

    Observing that traditionally, Law has been biased in favour of marriage, the Bench of Justice Sangeeta Chandra and Justice Narendra Kumar Johari also stressed upon the need to create awareness in young minds regarding the emotional and societal pressures and legal hassles which may be created by such relations.

    The Court observed thus while dealing with a protection plea (against police harassment) filed by a 29-year-old Hindu Woman and a 30-year-old Muslim Man alleging that the mother of the woman is unhappy with their Live In relation and that an FIR had been lodged against them.

    It was further averred in their plea that no one should be allowed to cause any hindrance in their personal life, however, they are facing harassment from the police and hence, they should be given protection by the Court as their case is squarely covered with the Apex Court's ruling in the case of Lata Singh vs. State of UP (2006).

    High Court's observations

    At the outset, the Court noted that the petitioners had not expressed their willingness to marry in the near future, nor did they state for how long they have been in the live-in relationship and whether they are married.

    "They have also not stated anywhere in the writ petition any specific instance of the police coming and knocking their doors or taking them to the police station. There is no averment in the writ petition regarding their neighbours and the society, in general, recognizing them as enjoying a relationship in the nature of marriage," the Court said as it noted that the interfaith couple had approached the court with mere allegations, which has not been substantiated by any specific pleading.

    Further, referring to Apex Court's Lata Singh vs State of UP (2006) and S. Khushboo vs Kanniammal (2010) the HC said that the observations made by the Supreme Court therein pertaining to live relationships should be read in the context of the facts of each case.

    Further, referring to the observations of the SC in other cases as well [D Velusamy vs D Patchaiammal (2010), Nandakumar vs State of Kerala (2018), Dhanu Lal vs. Ganesh Ram (2015), etc] wherein it touched upon the nature of Live In relationship in light of Law of the land, the High Court observed thus:

    "The Observations of the Supreme Court as aforesaid however cannot be considered to promote such relationships. Law traditionally has been biased in favour of marriage. It reserves many rights and privileges to married persons to preserve and encourage the institution of marriage. the Supreme Court is simply accepting a social reality and it has no intention to unravel the fabric of Indian family life"

    The Court added as to how the Supreme Court has, on several occasions, observed that section 125 CrPC is not meant for granting of maintenance to the "other woman", where a man, having a living lawfully wedded wife, either marries for a second time or starts living with a concubine. The Court also noted that the Top Court has refused to extend the meaning of the word wife as denoted in section 125 of the CrPC to include such live-in partners for maintenance claims.

    Against this backdrop, adverting to the facts of the instant case, the Court, while noting that the petitioners, in their plea, have only alleged that they being major are entitled to live with whomsoever they like and the mother of petitioner No.1 is unhappy with this relationship, observed thus:

    "Writ jurisdiction being extraordinary jurisdiction is not made to resolve such type of dispute between two private parties. We believe that it is a social problem which can be uprooted socially and not by the intervention of the Writ Court in the garb of violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India unless harassment is established beyond doubt."

    The Court further opined that if there is any real grievance of a live-in couple against their parents or relatives, who are allegedly interfering with their live-in status which goes to such an extent that there is a threat of life, they are at liberty to lodge an FIR under Section 154 (1) or Section 154 (3) CrPC, with the Police, move an application under section 156 (3) CrPC before the competent Court or file a complaint case under Section 200 CrPC

    "Similarly, in case the parents or relatives, find that illegally their son or daughter has eloped for the purpose of marriage, although he or she is underage or not inclined or the respondents are behaving violently, they are equally at liberty to take steps in a similar manner. But, when neither of the actions are taken against each other, and only a fictitious application with certain allegations, particularly by such persons as the petitioners herein enjoying a live-in relationship, is moved under Writ jurisdiction of the High Court, it appears to be a circuitous way to get the seal and signature of the High Court upon their conduct without any verification of their age and other necessary aspects required to be done by the appropriate authority," the Court added as it refused to grant any protection to the couple and rejected their plea.

    Case title - Kiran Rawat And Another vs. State Of U.P. Thru. Secy. Home Lko. And Others [CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. - 3310 of 2023]

    Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 201

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

    Next Story