P&H High Court Rejects Petition Seeking Legal Protection For Married Persons In Live-In Relationships
The Punjab and Haryana High Court emphasized that choosing to live together outside of wedlock does not grant married individuals the freedom to engage in live-in relationships with others while their marriage is still valid. A petition was filed seeking legal protection against threats from private individuals for the petitioners who were both individually married but in a live-in relationship with each other. Specifically, the wife of one of the petitioners had confronted them and made threats.
A Bench of Justice Alok Jain held, “The threat perception narrated in this petition is vague and evasive and it apparently seems that the wife of petitioner No. 2 caught the petitioners in the promiscuous relationship, which cannot be considered as a threat.”
The Court said, “Filing of this writ petition appears to be a device adopted to have a seal and signature of this Court on the illegal act of petitioners violating the norms of pious institution of marriage. There is no factual foundation supported with material to inspire confidence that this is a case of violation of one’s fundamental right under Article 21of the Constitution of India.”
Advocate Raminder Singh Dhaliwal appeared for the Petitioners and Advocate P.S. Grewal appeared for the Respondents.
The High Court observed that the situation involved a 31-year-old woman (petitioner no.1) with a child from her husband who was involved in an illicit relationship with petitioner no.2, a married man with a child.
Furthermore, the Court viewed the petition as an attempt to conceal the illicit relationship of the petitioners after being exposed, rather than a genuine concern for their safety. The Court noted that if the couple genuinely felt threatened by the private individuals interfering in their live-in relationship or if their lives were in danger, they had legal remedies available but they did not pursue any of these avenues. The Court added, “If there was any real grievance of the couple against the private respondents, who were allegedly interfering in their live-in-relationship or if there was a threat to their life, they were at liberty to lodge an FIR under Section 154 of Cr.P.C. with the police or move an application under Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C. before the competent Court or file a complaint case under Section 200 of Cr.P.C. However, neither of the said remedy was availed by the petitioners and only a ficticious representation dated 11.09.2023 (Annexure P-3) was moved to respondent No. 2- The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ferozepur, Punjab and, thereafter, the present petition has been filed under the garb of writ jurisdiction of this Court to cover up their illicit live-in-relationship.”
The High Court concluded by stating that one's choice to live outside of wedlock does not give married individuals the right to engage in live-in relationships with others during their marriage, as it violates legal norms. The Court viewed the filing of the writ petition as an attempt to legitimize their illegal actions within the institution of marriage.
In light of these considerations, the Court dismissed the petition and imposed a cost of Rs. 2500 to be paid by the petitioners in Shaheed Ajit Singh Police Welfare Fund within one month.
Cause Title: Binder Kaur & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors., [2023:PHHC:121839]