SC Grants Protection to Live-in Couple Whose Plea Was Earlier Dismissed by Punjab and Haryana High Court

New Delhi: In a breakthrough judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered Punjab Police to grant protection to the live-in couple whose plea was earlier dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The bench consisting of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Ajay Rastogi ordered that since the case concerns life and liberty, the SP is required to act quickly in accordance with the law. The petitioners should be provided with protection in view of the apprehensions/ threats, uninfluenced by the observations of the high court.

Earlier on May 11, Justice H.S. Madaan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed the couple’s plea by describing such relationships as morally and socially unacceptable. The court had even denied granted protection to the couple saying that the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed.

But, in a contrasting judgement, a different bench of the same court later commanded that validity of the marriage cannot be a ground for denial of protection of the couple’s life and liberty.

Lately, several cases related to live-in couples have been heard by Indian courts. One among them is the recent Allahabad high court case where interim protection was granted to a live-in interfaith couple, noting that such an arrangement between consenting adults was not an offence. The bench comprising Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Jayant Banerji said that nobody should come in the way of the couple’s peaceful living till the next date of listing

In fact, in 2018, the Supreme Court had ruled out a judgement that it wanted to protect married and live-in couples from any threat of violence.

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