A bench of justices Pritinker Diwaker and Ashutosh Srivastava of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday noted that live-in relations have become part and parcel of life. They need to be viewed from the perspective of personal autonomy and not social morality, the bench noted. The bench made the observation while disposing of pleas by two live-in heterosexual couples who alleged that the girls' families were interfering in their day-to-day lives.
"Live-in relationships have become part and parcel of life and stand approved by the Hon'ble Apex Court," the bench said.
"Accordingly, the live-in relationship is required to be viewed from the lens of personal autonomy arising out of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India rather than the notions of social morality," the bench added.
While one petition was filed by Shayara Khatun and her partner, the other was filed by Zeenat Parveen and her partner. Though both approached the local police, they received little help from them, leaving them stranded amid consistent threats to their life and liberty.
The court further emphasized that the right to life and personal liberty conferred by Article 21 of the constitution of India must be protected at all costs. They further stressed that the police are obligated to protect the rights of the petitioners and ordered the police to "perform their duties as expected from them under the law" if the petitioners approach them with complaints of threat to life/ liberty.