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Relief refused to married woman in live-in relationship seeking protection from husband

Relief refused to married woman in live-in relationship seeking protection from husband

Sunita Devi Vs State of UP

Allahabad HC


WRIT - C No. - 29138 of 2021

About/from the judgment:

The High Court dismissed a protection plea filed by a married woman and her live-in partner with a cost of Rs.5,000 as it noted that the petitioners had failed to demonstrate that they were facing any threat from the husband of the woman.

The Court further observed that the Constitution of India may permit live-in relations but the instant writ petition was filed by the petitioners (live-in partners) with the purpose of obtaining the seal of the High Court on their illegal relationship.

Further, noting that the period of cohabitation between the petitioners was very less, the Court opined that personal autonomy (rather than the notion of social morality) can otherwise be looked into, but certainly not at the stage when there is less period of cohabitation.

The case in brief

Petitioners (a married lady and her live-in partner) moved to the High Court seeking a writ of mandamus directing the respondents (including the woman's husband) to refrain from harassing them.

She alleged that since she was being harassed by her husband as he had come into contact with bad elements and used to come home only at midnight, she left her matrimonial house in early September 2021 and started living with her live-in partner.

Thereafter, on October 22, 2021, she moved to the High Court alleging that her husband was threatening her and sought direction from Court to husband to not interfere in the peaceful living of the petitioners as husband and wife.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court noted that till September 2021, the petitioner was with her husband and daughters, and suddenly, the next month she filed the instant plea claiming that she and her live-in partner are living as husband-wife without disclosing the duration of their cohabitation and without specifying details of threat from her husband.

"Petitioner No.1 wants to live with petitioner No.2 without taking proper divorce and/or she does not even want to have marital relationship with respondent No.3 and no reasons have been assigned for such a drastic step...Thus, saying that India is governed by Constitution of India and we are not living in primitive days makes no difference as in the present case it cannot be said that petitioners are living as husband and wife and it is evident from the record and submission of learned counsel for the petitioner that the marriage of petitioner No.1, Sunita Devi, with respondent No.3, Ranveer Singh, has not yet been dissolved. Moreover, there is nothing on record to show as to when the respondent No.3 threatened her while being in live-in-relation as till September, 2021 she says that she was with her husband and children." the Court added as it referred to Punjab and Haryana High Court's last year judgment wherein it was observed that merely because two adults are living together for a few days, their claim of live-in-relationship based upon bald averment may not be enough to hold that they are truly in live-in-relationship.

Further, the Court observed that list of dates and events mentioned in the plea was clear enough to show that petitioner No.1 had come with incorrect facts deliberately as her complaint (against her husband) has not culminated into F.I.R. being lodged.

Consequently, observing that nothing was demonstrated that the husband, had even remotely threatened the relationship, the Court went on to dismiss the writ petition with cost of Rs.5,000/- as it noted that there was no threat perception as claimed by the petitioners from respondent No.3.

"The Constitution of India does not permit us to issue mandamus when there is no threat perception alleged or transpired," the Court added as it gave the liberty to the woman to move before Police authorities showing that she has genuine grievances or threats to her life.

Read the Judgment


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