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Merely Because The Boy Is Not Of Marriageable Age, The Right Of A Major Couple To Live-Together Can't Be Denied: Punjab And Haryana HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
29 Dec 2020 1:41 PM GMT
Merely Because The Boy Is Not Of Marriageable Age, The Right Of A Major Couple To Live-Together Cant Be Denied: Punjab And Haryana HC
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Punjab and Haryana HC has recently held that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live-together cannot be denied. Noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in...

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Punjab and Haryana HC has recently held that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live-together cannot be denied. 

Noting that "Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit", the High Court upheld a couple's right to be in a live in relationship.

"Admittedly, he is a major. Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

"The petitioners, both being major, have decided to live together in a live-in relationship and there possibly may not be any legally justifiable reason for the respondents to object to the same", said the Court.

The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin was hearing a criminal writ petition for enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6.

Facts in brief

Both the petitioners before the Court are major and have known each other from the last one year and want to marry each other.

However, when the parents of petitioner No.1 (Woman) became aware of their relationship, fights took place between the families.

Allegedly, the parents of petitioner No.1 gave her severe beatings and decided to marry her against her wishes, confined her into a room, snatched her mobile phone and threatened to kill her if she kept any kind of relationship with petitioner No.2 (Man).

The Woman left her home on 20.12.2020 to reside with the Man, who has not attained marriageable age and they are living in a live-in relationship.

However, their relationship is not acceptable to respondent Nos.4 to 6 (relatives of Woman) and they are threatening the petitioners with dire consequences.

The counsel for the petitioners contended that the life and liberty of the petitioners is in grave danger at the hands of respondent Nos.4 to 6 (relatives of Woman).

It was further contended that the petitioners have also moved a representation to the Senior Superintendent of Police, District Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, however, no action took place.

Court's Observations

The Court, in its order remarked,

"She is well within her right to decide for herself what is good for her and what is not. She has decided to take a step to be in a live-in-relationship with petitioner No.2 who is also major, though may not be of a marriageable age. Be that as it may, the fact remains that both the petitioners in the present case are major and have a right to live their life on their own terms."

The Court further said,

"The private respondent Nos.4 to 6 being family members of petitioner No.1, who is a major, cannot dictate to petitioner No.1 how and with whom she chooses to spend her lifeThe petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life. The Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to life and the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life."

While taking into account the fact that the Man is not of marriageable age, the Court said. In view of the above, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Fatehgarh Sahib was directed to decide the representation dated 20.12.2020 and take necessary action as per law.

In related news, The Allahabad High Court recently reunited an interfaith couple while noting that the Woman (Shikha) had "expressed that she wants to live with her husband (Salman @ Karan) she is free to move as per her own choice without any restriction or hindrance being created by third party."

Further, observing that a live-in relationship between two consenting adults is not an offence, the Allahabad High Court recently granted police protection to a couple who wanted to live together.

The High Court observed that it is "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 authority to interfere with their living together".

Recently, a division bench of the High Court declared that the right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty."

Case title - Priyapreet Kaur and Another v. State Of Punjab and Others [CRWP-10828-2020 (O&M)]

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