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Social acceptance for live-In relationships on rise; such persons entitled to equal protection from law: Punjab & Haryana HC

court says live-in relationships social acceptance on rise

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Social acceptance for live-In relationships on rise; such persons entitled to equal protection from law: Punjab & Haryana HC

More than a week after two benches made adverse remarks against couples in live-in relationships, a different bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court granted protection to a couple, observing that an individual has the right to formalize the relationship with the partner through marriage or to adopt the non-formal approach of a live-in relationship.



In its ruling, the single bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal said, “The Constitution of India is the Supreme Law of the land. Right to life and liberty is enshrined therein and is treated as a basic feature. The said right includes the right of an individual to full development of his/her potential in accordance with his/her choice and wish and for such purpose, he/she is entitled to choose a partner of his/her choice. The individual also has the right to formalize the relationship with the partner through marriage or to adopt the non-formal approach of a live-in relationship”

The court directed the Haryana Police to ensure that neither the lives or liberty of the couple is harmed as it stated “in law, such a relationship is not prohibited nor does it amount to commission of any offence”, Indian Express reported.

The petitioners had moved High Court after a representation submitted to the police on May 9 yielded no response.

“Social acceptance for live-in relationships increasing. In law, such a relationship is not prohibited nor does it amount to commission of any offence. Such persons are entitled to equal protection of laws as any other citizen,” the bench observed.

The latest ruling is in stark contrast with the orders passed by the earlier benches. On May 11, Justice H S Madaan denied protection to a couple and described live-in-relationships as being morally and socially unacceptable.

“As a matter of fact, the petitioners in the garb of filing the present petition are seeking seal of approval on their live-in-relationship, which is morally and socially not acceptable and no protection order in the petition can be passed. The petition stands dismissed accordingly,” the court had said. In an order passed May 12, Justice Anil Kshetarpal also rejected a similar petition, stating if the couple was granted protection, it would disturb the social fabric of the society.


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