No Difference Between Married & Live In Couple Seeking Protection: P&H HC

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The Punjab and Haryana high court recently held that there is No Difference Between Married & Live In Couple Seeking Protection.

Justice Sudhir Mittal passed these orders while allowing the petition filed by live-in couple seeking protection of their life and liberty.

The court observed that “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 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 concept of live-in-relationships has crept into our society from western nations and initially, found acceptance in the metropolitan cities. Education played a great role in development of this concept. Slowly, the concept has percolated into small towns and villages also as is evident from this petition. This shows that social acceptance for live-in-relationships is on the increase. In law, such a relationship is not prohibited nor does it amount to commission of any offence and thus, in my considered view such persons are entitled to equal protection of laws as any other citizen of the country, the court noted.

The Court while allowing the protection petition held that, The Constitutional Courts grant protection to couples, who have married against the wishes of their respective parents. They seek protection of life and liberty from their parents and family members, who disapprove of the alliance. An identical situation exits where the couple has entered into a live-in-relationship. The only difference is that the relationship is not universally accepted. Would that make any difference? In my considered opinion, it would not. The couple fears for their safety from relatives in both situations and not from the society. They are thus, entitled to the same relief. No citizen can be permitted to take law in his own hands in a country governed by Rule of Law.

Read Order here: