Live-in-couples denied protection by high court get SC cover

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The Supreme Court has directed top police officials of Punjab and Haryana to urgently consider a plea by two live-in-couples seeking protection for their lives without being influenced by observations made by the Punjab and Haryana High Court that earlier turned down their plea.

The High Court had last month passed two separate orders observed that granting any protection to the consenting adults would “disturb the entire social fabric of the society” as “live-in relationships are not socially or morally acceptable”.

Challenging the two orders before the top court, advocate Abhimanyu Tewari appearing for the two set of petitioners argued that the couples are consenting adults desirous of getting married. However, they were on the run as their families were opposed to their union and even threatened to kill them.

Dealing with their appeals, Vacation Bench of Justices Navin Sinha and Ajay Rastogi noted that the matter concerned life and liberty of citizens. One couple wrote to the Senior Superintendent of Police, District Tarn Taran in Punjab for protection in April this year. Around the same time, the couple in the second petition requested the SSP, Jind in Haryana seeking similar protection.

The bench read the representations made to the police in the two petitions and allowed the two couples to supplement their representations to the Superintendent of Police. It held, “Since it concerns life and liberty, the Superintendent of Police is required to act expeditiously in accordance with law, including the grant of any protection to the petitioners in view of the apprehensions/threats, uninfluenced by the observations of the High Court.”

Dealing with the Punjab couple, the Punjab and Haryana HC on May 11 had said, “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.”

A day later, another bench of the HC while dealing with the petition of the Jind couple said, “In the considered view of this bench, if such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed.”

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