P&H HC Grants Protection to Live-in Couple, Says ‘Entitled to Protection of Life & Liberty’

punjab-haryana-high-court LAW INSIDER

Prerna Gala

Published on: 28 September 2022 at 16:22 IST

According to the Punjab & Haryana High Court, every major person has the right to live with the person of their choice, and if their relatives object, the court should issue a protective order. [Manjeet Kaur v. Punjab State]

According to Justice Vikas Bahl, the right to life and liberty, which is protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, is one of the most fundamental rights.

“It goes without saying that protection of life and liberty is a basic feature of the Constitution of India. Every person, more so, a major, has the right to live his or her life with a person of his or her choice.”

At any rate, whenever this Court, prima-facie, is satisfied that on account of some relatives or persons being unhappy with the relationship between the petitioners, could cause harm to their life and liberty, then in such circumstances, the Courts are required to pass necessary directions for their protection,” the order stated.

The live-in couple, who believed their lives were in danger from their relatives before the court was considering their appeal for protection. The man in this relationship was already married and was living with the petitioner woman without divorcing his first wife. 

On September 13, they requested protection from the Punjab Police, but the decision on their request had not yet been made.

After noting the relevant facts, Justice Bahl cited the ruling rendered in Pardeep Singh v. State of Haryana by the same High Court. In that case, the court noted that the idea of live-in relationships had crept into our society and had been acceptable in major cities while awarding protection to a live-in couple.

“Thus, this Court is of the view that even if the petitioners are living in a “Live in Relationship”, they are entitled to protection of life and liberty,” the judge opined. 

After determining the perceived threat to the couple seeking protection, the judge then directed the Punjab Police to respond to the plea in a legal manner.

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