Live-In Is Not Living In Sin
Woman's Era|July 2021
Legality Of Live-In Relationships In India
Sanjeev Sirohi

Live-In Relationships May Not Be Acceptable To All But Living Together Without Marrying Doesn't Constitute An Offence: P & H High Court.

It is really good to learn that the Punjab and Haryana High. Court has just recently in a latest, laudable, landmark and learned judgment titled Soniya and another Vs State of Haryana and others in CRWP No. 4533 of 2021 (O&M) heard through virtual conferencing and delivered on May 18, 2021, has set the record straight by making it abundantly clear that a live-in relationship may not be acceptable to all but it cannot be said that such a relationship is an illegal one or that living together without the sanctity of marriage constitutes an offence. It must be mentioned here that the Single Judge Bench of Hon'ble Ms. Justice Jaishree Thakur of Punjab and Haryana High Court observed thus in a matter pertaining to a live-in-relationship couple, who are both major and decided to enter into such a relationship and approached the Court seeking protection of their life and liberty as against the immediate family members of the Girl. Perhaps even more significantly, the Bench then observed, It would be a travesty of justice in case protection is denied to persons who have opted to reside together without the sanctity of marriage, and such persons have to face dire consequences at the hands of persons from whom protection is sought. Very rightly so!

To start with, this notable judgment authored in oral by Justice Jaishree Thakur sets the ball rolling by first and foremost observing that, The petitioners, having attained the age of 18, are seeking protection of their life and liberty at the hands of the private respondents, who are none other than the immediate family members of petitioner No. 1.

While elaborating on the facts of the case, it is then put forth that, In brief, the facts as stated are, that Ms. Soniya, petitioner No. 1 is aged 22 years 4 months with her date of birth being 01.01.1998, whereas Mr. Anil, petitioner No. 2 is younger and is 19 years 6 months old, with his date of birth being 26.09.2001. The parents of petitioner No. 1 wanted her to marry a person of their choice and threatened her with dire consequences in case she did not do so. Petitioner No. 1 left her parental home and called upon petitioner No. 2 (whom she had known for the past one year) to save her from her parents, who wanted her to get married to a person who was much older in age. Petitioner No. 2 requested her to go back, but being fearful for her life and that she would be forcibly married to a person much older than her, she refused to do so.

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