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Widow-Widower Live-In Couple Granted Protection By Rajasthan HC; Says Privacy & Liberty Of Individuals Cannot Be Infringed

Rahul Garg
26 Oct 2022 9:00 AM GMT
If Allegations Of Threat To Life Turn Out To Be True, It Might Lead To Irreversible Loss: Punjab And Haryana High Court Provides Protection To Live-In-Relationship Couple.

Image Courtesy: The Tribune India

The Rajasthan High Court, while disposing of a petition filed for protection of life and personal liberty by a widowed woman and a widower man staying together in a live-in relationship, observed that the petitioners have a constitutional right to privacy, liberty and choice.

The petitioners moved the High Court and filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution for protection of their life and personal liberty. It was their case that they were widow and widower respectively and were now together in a live-in relationship, which was opposed by the private respondents, being the family members of the first petitioner. Aggrieved by the non-approval and non-recognition of their relationship and the subsequent threat to their life and personal liberty, they prayed for protection before the Jaipur bench of the Rajasthan High Court.

The single bench of Justice Birendra Kumar ordered the Superintendent of Police, along with other authorities, to ensure the protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners. The Court observed that privacy and liberty of individuals cannot be infringed by taking the law in one's hands and that in case there is an allegation of violation of law by the aggrieved person then legal recourse must be adopted, which recourse can never be at the whim of anyone.

While recognizing the petitioners' right to privacy, the Court highlighted how it must be guided by the conception of 'constitutional morality' and not by the ideas of 'societal or social morality,' by relying on the Supreme Court decision in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India.

Furthermore, the Court also relied on the Supreme Court decision in Shafin Jahan v. AsokanK.M., to recognize both individuals' personal choice and constitutionally guaranteed freedom, over and above social values and morals.

Case Title: Gaytri and Another v. State of Rajasthan

Case No: S.B. Criminal Writ Petition No. 642 of 2022

Coram: Justice Birendra Kumar

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 250

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