9 Sep 2021 5:17 AM GMT
Denying police protection to a widow, who was living with a married man, the Rajasthan High Court recently observed that such a relationship between the petitioners don't come under the purview of a legal Live-in relationship and rather, such relationships are 'Purely Illegal' and 'Anti-Social'.The Bench of Justice Satish Kumar Sharma was hearing the protection plea of a widow and her partner...
Denying police protection to a widow, who was living with a married man, the Rajasthan High Court recently observed that such a relationship between the petitioners don't come under the purview of a legal Live-in relationship and rather, such relationships are 'Purely Illegal' and 'Anti-Social'.
The Bench of Justice Satish Kumar Sharma was hearing the protection plea of a widow and her partner (a married man) when it observed thus:
"Giving them the police protection would be recognizing their illegal relations and indirectly consenting to such illegal relations, which is not lawful, hence the request for police protection is rejected."
Case in brief
In the instant matter, the widow (petitioner number 1) submitted before the Court that after the death of her husband, she was left with 3 children and so, she decided to marry the man (petitioner number 2), who was living separately from his wife.
She also claimed that she married him in June 2021 according to Hindu customs and rituals and now they are living as Husband and Wife, however, private respondents are not happy with their relationship and harassing them, thus she (along with her male partner) sought police protection from the Court.
At the outset, the Court noted thus the alleged marriage between the widow and her male partner is void-ab-Initio, as the marriage of the man with his wife is susbsiting.
"Petitioner No. 2 (man) is already married. He has not taken divorce from his wife, that is, his first marriage is in place. Petitioner No. 1 is a widow, but the marriage so alleged by her to a person already married is void-ab-initio," the Court noted.
Importantly, the Bench also relied upon Allahabad High Court's 'Social Fabric' ruling in which the High Court had observed that live-in-relationships cannot be at the cost of the social fabric of this country and that without obtaining a divorce, a spouse is not entitled to protection qua a relationship with another person.
Holding thus, the Allahabad High Court had, last month, dismissed the protection plea of a married woman living with her partner with an exemplary cost of Rs.5,000.
Significantly, last week, the Punjab & Haryana High Court had expressed its disagreement with the Allahabad HC's and had held that no offence would be made out if being adults, two people are in a live-in relationship with each other, even though they are already married to someone else.
However, the Court, while dismissing their plea, granted them the liberty to file a report in the concerned police station as per law, if any offense is committed against them.
Case title - Seema Devi and Another v. State of Rajasthan and Others
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