Punjab & Haryana HC Directs Woman’s Appearance in Same-Sex Partner’s Plea Against Alleged Unlawful Detention

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Published on: December 28, 2023 at 18:29 IST

In response to a plea filed by a same-sex partner, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has instructed the Station House Officer (SHO) of Haryana’s Panchkula to present a woman allegedly unlawfully detained by her family with the intent of coercing her into marriage.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Justice Sandeep Moudgil noted, “the matter seems to be of serious concern to the Court” and directed the State to “produce the detenue…through Station House Officer, Chandimandir, Police Station, Panchkula, Haryana as well as respondents No.4 & 5 (parents of detenue) on the next date of hearing.”

The habeas corpus plea was filed by a same-sex partner seeking the release of her partner, who is reportedly being held against her will by her family, which disapproves of their relationship.

According to the plea, when the couple approached the police to express their desire to live together, they were allegedly mistreated by the officer and the detenue was forcibly taken to her family.

The petition further claims that the family may compel the alleged detenue to marry someone of their choosing, as they have purportedly threatened to do so and even cause her physical harm.

The next hearing for the case is scheduled for January 04.

It is noteworthy that while the Supreme Court refrained from granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages, it directed the State to take measures to eliminate discrimination faced by queer couples and ensure protection of their right to cohabitation.

Previously, the Punjab & Haryana High Court granted protection to a lesbian couple, affirming that Article 21 of the Constitution of India applies even when individuals of the same gender choose to live together.

In the case of X v State of Haryana & Ors., Justice Anoop Chitkara’s bench emphasized that “Love, attraction, and fondness have no boundaries, and not even the boundary of gender.”

The Court underscored the applicability of Article 21 to same-sex live-in couples, recognizing their rights in line with changing societal norms.

Case Title: X v State of Haryana & Ors.

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