HC allows Woman to Live-In with same-sex Partner

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The High Court of Orissa has allowed a 24-year-old woman to live with her same-sex partner after the latter’s family members reportedly tried to get her married to a boy against her wish.

Hearing a habeas corpus petition, a division bench of Justices SK Mishra & Savitri Ratho asked the Police to provide security to the partner of the woman so that she could start living with her. Though the order was passed on Monday, it was uploaded on the HC portal on Tuesday.

Petitioner Chinmayee Jena alias Sonu Krishna Jena had filed a habeas corpus application under Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution seeking production of her woman partner, alleging that she was being kept away by her mother & uncle. The petitioner told the court that her partner’s mother & uncle were now trying to marry her off.

Jena, who produced a certification of Gender Dysphoria for Trans man from a psychiatrist, had alleged that he & his partner had fallen in love with each other in 2011 & had been enjoying a consensual relationship since 2017. The 2 were studying in the same school & later in the same college. After completing their respective studies, Jena got a private job at Bhubaneswar & was staying on rent in the city.

Jena alleged that while she was staying in a live-in relationship with her partner, in April this year, the latter’s mother & uncle came to her & forcibly took her away against her will. It was done against her will even though both of them had become majors. She also cited the provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which acknowledged live-in relationships.

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Citing the orders of Apex Court in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India case in which the Supreme Court held that section 377 of IPC transgressed Article 14, 15, 19 & 21 of the Constitution of India, the HC bench said that the petitioner has the right of self-determination of sex/gender & also has the right to have a live-in relationship with a person of choice even though such person may belong to the same gender as the petitioner.

During the hearing through virtual mode, the petitioner woman’s partner told the High Court that she wants to join the company of the petitioner without further delay.

The High Court also ordered that the petitioner would have to allow the mother & sister of her partner to be in touch with her & that her partner would have all the rights of a woman as enshrined under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. 

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