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The Allahabad High Court has recently ruled that live-in relationships, though not socially accepted in India, do not amount to any offense under the law. The court reaffirmed that two consenting adults are at liberty to live together and no person would be permitted to interfere in their peaceful living.

A division bench comprising of Justices Anjani Kumar Mishra and Prakash Padia observed that it is “settled the law that where a boy and a girl are major and they are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents have authority to interfere with their living together.”

“Live-­in relationship is a relationship which has not been socially accepted in India, unlike many other countries. In the case of Lata Singh vs. the State of UP, it was observed that a live­-in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex do not amount to any offense even though it may be perceived as immoral,” stated the High Court while citing to the Supreme Court’s long line of decisions wherein it was settled law that where a boy and a girl are major and are living together of their free will, then, nobody including their parents has the authority to interfere with the same.

Background of the Case

The above observations were made in a petition filed by a couple in a live-in relationship who had sought directions to ensure that the family members of the woman do not harass them in any manner.

The petitioner no. 1, Kamini Devi had submitted that her family was forcibly trying to solemnize her marriage with older men against her wishes. She further that when she came to know of such a situation, she had no other option except to live away in her personal interest wherein she decided to live with petitioner no. 2, Ajay Kumar on her own free will and without fear and pressure.

The Aadhaar cards of the petitioners revealed that they were 24 and 28 years old respectively.

It was submitted that the petitioners were living with each other happily for the last six months happily but the respondent family was not happy with them and tried to harass them.

As per the records, the petitioners had filed a complaint addressed to the Superintendent of Police, Jahanganj, District Farrukhabad on 17 March 2020, requesting that necessary protection be provided to them but no action was taken on the complaint till date.

Court Observations

The division bench of Allahabad High Court observed that ‘a live­-in relationship between two consenting adults of heterosexual sex does not amount to any offense even though it may be perceived as immoral’. The bench further stated, ‘it is a settled law that where a boy and a girl are major and are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents has authority to interfere’.

“In case any disturbance is caused in the peaceful living of the petitioners, the petitioners shall approach the Senior Superintendent of Police, Farrukhabad i.e. the second respondent, with self-attested computer-generated copy of this order downloaded from the official website of High Court Allahabad, who shall provide immediate protection to the petitioners,” read the court order.

“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, 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 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,” added the court.

Subsequently, while disposing of the writ petition, the High Court ordered for police protection to be provided to the petitioners if they request for the same. “In case any disturbance is caused in the peaceful living of the petitioners, the petitioners shall approach the Senior Superintendent of Police, Farrukhabad i.e. the second respondent, with self-attested computer-generated copy of this order downloaded from the official website of High Court Allahabad, who shall provide immediate protection to the petitioners.”


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