Major couple even if not of marriageable age can live together: Punjab and Haryana HC

The court upheld the right to of individuals, who have attained majority, to live together and live a life on their own terms within the corners of law

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court upheld the right, under Article 21 of the Constitution, while considering a petition of a couple who had attained majority as per law and wished to live together. Justice Alka Sarin held that parents cannot dictate with whom their child chooses to spend her life with.

Both petitioners, above 18 years of age, filed this petition seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. When the parents of the petitioner no.1 became aware of their relationship, fights took place between the families. The parents of petitioner No.1, the girl, gave her severe beatings and decided to marry her against her wishes, confined her into a room, snatched her mobile phone and threatened to kill her if she kept any kind of relationship with petitioner No.2, the boy. Further, since the boy was still not of marriageable age, they decided to live-in together till they could get married.

The court held that the girl, being more than 18 years of age, is a major and well within her right to decide for herself what is good for her and what is not. The court further held that the fact remains that both the petitioners in the present case are major and have a right to live their life on their own terms and parents cannot compel their major children to live a life on their terms.

The court observed, “The petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life”. Considering the fact that the boy was a major but not of marriageable age, the court held, “Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners, both being major, have decided to live together in a live-in relationship and there possibly may not be any legally justifiable reason for the respondents to object to the same”.

The court directed SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib to decide the representation moved before him by the petitioners contending that their life and liberty is in grave danger at the hands of family members of the girl. The court however clarified that its order should neither be construed as an expression of opinion on the veracity of the contents of the present petition, nor as a stamp of this Court on the validity of the alleged live-in relationship.

The complete order may be read here.



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