An Adult Being In Live-In Relationship Need Not Be Of Marriageable age

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The case in reference is Priyapreet Kaur & Anr. v. State of Punjab [C.R.W.P. No. 10828-2020 O&M].
  • The decisionin the case was pronounced by Punjab & Haryana High Court Judge, Justice AlkaSarin.
  • It is a criminal writ petition filed u/Art.226 of Indian Constitution for enforcement of fundamental rights under Article 21.
  • In the present case the court only needed to decide whether the apprehension of the Petitioners needs to be addressed and not to express any opinion regarding the validity of their relationship.

INTRODUCTION

• In the present case both the Petitioners are major i.eadults. The age of the girl is 19 years whereas that of the boy is 20 years though he is yet not of marriageable age as per their age proofs.

• The Petitioners knew each other from last one year and wanted to marry each other.

• However the parents of the girl became aware of their relationship and fights started between both the families.

• The girl's family confined her in a room and threatened her with dire consequences if she meets the boy.

• The girl left her home and started residing with the guy in live-in relationship however their relationship was not acceptable to Respondents 4, 5 & 6 and threatened them with dire consequences.

FURTHER DETAILS

• The learned counsel for the Petitioners said that the lives of the Petitioners is in grave danger at the hands of the Respondents also it was contended that the Petitioners moved a representation to the superintendent of police but he took no action.

COURT'S OBSERVATIONS

• The court was of the view that both of them are major and have a right to live their lives on their own terms.

• The society cannot determine how an individual should live their lives.

• The constitution of India guarantees every individual a right to life and the choice of a partner is a facet of the right to life.

•  The court taking Shafin Jahan v. Ashokan K.M (2018) matter into consideration mentioned –

- The right to marry a person of one's choice is integral to Article 21 of the Constitution.
- The right cannot be taken away accept through a law which is substantively and procedurally fair, just and reasonable.
- The Constitution protects the ability of each individual to pursue a way of life or faith to which he or she seeks to adhere.
- Matters of dress, food, ideas, ideologies, love, partnership are within the central aspects of identity.
- Society has no role to play in determining our choice of partners.

THE CURRENT SCENARIO

• The Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police to decide the representation and take necessary action as per the law. 

• The Court made it clear that the order should not be construed as an expression of opinion on the veracity of the contents and nor as a stamp on the validity of the alleged live-in relationship of the Petitioners.

CONCLUSION

It is clear from the above decision of the court that it doesn’t talks about the approval or validity of the live-in relationship rather it talks about broader aspects of Article 21 where it is observed that a person has the right to choose with whom he/she wants to live or with whom they want to marry, also the decision whether to be in a live-in relationship is upon the person.

Basically the judgement pointed out at the fact that a boy may not be of a marriageable age i.e 21 years but when he is 18 years of age he is deemed to be an adult and attained majority and can make his own decisions.

Hence persons who are major / adults can live together even if the boy is not of marriageable age.

Though, in a country like India where the institution of marriage is of high regard the concept of live-in relationship is still not accepted and is just regarded as a western influence and something against Indian culture.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgment

 

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JINALI SHAH Online
on 13 January 2021
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