No protection to live-in couple: Allahabad High Court

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has dismissed the protection plea of a live-in couple, noting that the woman was already married and in a live-in relationship with another man.

“We fail to understand how such a petition can be allowed since it would be permitting illegality in the society,” the high court observed while imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on the couple.

Petitioner number one, Geeta, from Aligarh is a major and is in a live-in relationship with petitioner number two, who is a major man.

In a writ petition filed before the high court, they sought direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents – Geeta’s husband and other family members – not to interfere and disturb their ‘peaceful live-in relation’ by adopting coercive measures.

While rejecting their plea on Tuesday, a division bench comprising Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Dinesh Pathak also dismissed the writ petition.

The bench observed, “Can we grant protection to the people who want to commit what can be said to be an act which is against the mandate of the Hindu Marriage Act. The Article 21 of the Constitution of India may permit a person to have own liberty but the liberty has to be within the ambit of law which applies to them.”

The Article 21 of the Constitution provides protection of life and personal liberty. It guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

The court, while further noting that the woman is the legally wedded wife of one of the respondents in the case, remarked, “She has for whatever reasons decided to go away from her husband, can we permit them to live in relation under the guise of protection of life and liberty.”

Significantly, the court also observed that whether her husband had committed an act which can be said to be an offence under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for which she has never complained of, all these are disputed questions of facts. There is no FIR.

The court directed that the fine imposed on the petitioners shall be deposited by them with the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority.