Live-in relations have become part and parcel of life and need to be seen from the perspective of personal autonomy and not the social morality, the Allahabad High Court has said.
A bench of justices Pritinker Diwaker and Ashutosh Srivastava gave this ruling on Tuesday while disposing of the pleas by two live-in couples, who had alleged that in both cases, girls' families had been 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.
The court made the observation underscoring at the outset that the right to life and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is liable to be protected at all costs.
While one petition was filed by Kushi Nagar resident Shayara Khatun and her live-in partner, the second was filed by Meerut's resident Zeenat Parveen and her lover.
The two had also alleged in their pleas that they had approached the local police but got little help from them, leaving them on their fate amid consistent threat to their life and liberty.
The court said the police authorities were obligated to protect the rights of the petitioners.
The court ordered police to "perform their duties as expected from them under the law" if any of the petitioners approach them complaining of any threat to their life and liberty.