New Delhi: The ability to live together without marriage does not mean that married people are free to have a live-in relationship while married, the Andhra Pradesh High Court said last week while dismissing a suit filed by a man who wanted his common-law partner. to be freed from their parents’ custody.
The division bench of Justices Ravi Nath Tilhari and BVLN Chakraborty was hearing the habeas corpus petition of a man who claimed that his partner, who is an adult in the eyes of the law, was illegally imprisoned by her parents.
Habeas Corpus is a legally available weapon in case someone is illegally detained or imprisoned. According to which the court orders that the detained person be brought before them.
Rejecting the plea, the court said it was not inclined to accede to the petitioner’s request as he was still married and such an order would be a “violation of the legitimate legal framework”.
The court said in its decision: “The right to live together without marriage should be understood as the right to live without marriage after reaching majority. They are not obliged to marry each other. But this does not mean living in extramarital, live-in relationships with others while the marriage continues.”
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The court also found no merit in the petitioner’s contention that “this is a case of violation of a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, or of any illegal imprisonment of the father of his partner, who is the respondent in the case. .” It is a matter of.
The court dismissed the petition saying, “Writ of Habeas Corpus or Habeas Corpus cannot be issued in an ordinary manner or in a routine manner to produce a person in court. For this, proper cause must be shown. “Although it is a writ of authority, it is certainly not a letter.”
The decision comes at a time when the Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed a similar verdict imposing fines on another group of married people who had sought police protection for live-in relationships. That court also saw it as an attempt to “violate” the legal framework.
“Outside the legal framework”
In his petition, the petitioner had invoked his constitutional right to live with his partner. She also claimed that her partner’s father and about 20 people forcibly abducted her on July 27 this year after some verbal abuse.
She claimed that her partner was illegally imprisoned by her parents. The petitioner had also claimed that he had filed for divorce.
But the court rejected their arguments saying that the petitioner has not yet been divorced and while living in a marriage recognized by law, one cannot claim the protection of being in a live-in relationship.
The court relied on a 2020 judgment of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Kiran Rawat and others v. State of Uttar Pradesh to support its position. In that case, the petitioner, who was in a live-in relationship, alleged that he was being harassed by the local police and sought protection from the court.
However, the Allahabad HC had refused to intervene on the grounds that the couple were not married.
“In the instant case, as appears from the writ petition, the petitioner is already married to another woman. The marriage subsists … the filing of the writ petition appears to us to be a device adopted to put the seal and signature of the court on the illegal act of the petitioner, which violates against the valid legal structure of his marriage”, Andhra High. The court said last year. The week also said in its order that it is not inclined to implement the lawsuit and “expose” its partner to the public “on such baseless allegations and outside the legal framework”.
(Akshat Jain is a student at National Law University, Delhi and intern at ThePrint)
(Editing by Shiv Pandey)
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