Two Adults Have The Right To Live Together Even If They Are Not Attained The Marriageable Age: SC [Read Judgment]

Two Adults Have The Right To Live Together Even If They Are Not Attained The Marriageable Age: SC [Read Judgment]

It would not be out of place to mention that ‘live-in relationship’ is now recognized by the Legislature itself which has found its place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Bench said.

The Supreme Court recently, set aside a Kerala High Court order that ‘entrusted custody’ of a major girl to her father, observing that she has freedom of choice as to with whom she wants to live.

In this case, the girl had eloped with a boy who was not of marriageable age (21), though major. The father of the girl, filed habeas corpus plea, upon which the High Court took note of the age of the boy. It also observed that there was no evidence to show that a valid marriage was solemnized between the parties and that Marriage certificate issued by the local authority was also not produced. The High Court then entrusted custody of the girl to her father.

The Boy, approached the Apex Court contending that since the girl is admittedly a major, she has right to live wherever she wants to or move as per her choice and the High Court could not have entrusted the girl to father

The Bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan, agreed with these contentions made and observed that the marriage is not a void marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, and, at the most, the marriage would be a voidable marriage.

The Court further observed: “Even if they were not competent enter into wedlock (which position itself is disputed), they have right to live together even outside wedlock. It would not be out of place to mention that ‘live-in relationship’ is now recognized by the Legislature itself which has found its place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.”

The Bench also quoted relevant observations made in Hadiya case including this observation made by Justice Chandrachud in his concurring opinion: “The daughter is entitled to enjoy her freedom as the law permits and the court should not assume the role of a super guardian being moved by any kind of sentiment of the mother or the egotism of the father.”

We make it clear that the freedom of choice would be of Thushara (the Girl) as to with whom she wants to live, the Bench said while allowing the appeal.

Read the Judgment Here