Recently, the Allahabad High Court stated that the right to stay in live-in relationship is covered under Article 21 – Right to life and personal liberty. The court stated that a couple in a relationship have the liberty to live together and no person has the right to interfered in their peaceful living. In case of any disturbance the Police authorities should be approached for immediate protection. This was laid down by the High court in the case of Kumar Devi & Anr. V. State of U.P. & Ors., WRIT – C No. – 11108 of 2020.
The facts of the case are that two adults i.e. the Petitioners were living together in a live-in relationship for 6 months. But the respondents i.e. the parents of the Petitioner No. 1 are unhappy with this relationship and at many occasions have tried to solemnize the marriage of the Petitioner No. 1 with older persons against her consent. The Respondents were not happy with the relationship of Petitioner No. 1 and from time to time they use to harass them and pressurize to marry older persons. The Petitioner tried seeking help from the local police station to get protection against such harassment but there was no action taken by the police and so the Petitioner has file a writ petition in the court to issue the writ of mandamus.
The court in this case relied upon a number of Supreme Court judgments in which it has been stated that even if live-in relationship is considered as immoral in the society it is not illegal and does not amount to an offence. If a heterosexual couple has consented to stay in a live-in relationship it does not constitute as a crime and is perfectly legal. This was stated by the Supreme Court in the case of Lata Singh v. State of U.P. The Court also stated that it has been laid down in a series of judgments that if two adults i.e. a male and female decide to stay together their personal liberty cannot be interfered by anyone not even by their parents. Hence the division bench of Allahabad High Court was The Court thus stated, “We are of the view that the petitioners are at liberty to live together and no person shall be permitted to interfere in their peaceful living. As the right to life is a fundamental right ensured under Article 21 of the Constitution of India in which it is provided that no person shall be deprived of his right to life and personal liberty.” The court also stated that if there is any further interference or hinderance caused in their relationship by anyone they can approach the court of Superintendent of Police.