New Delhi, Jun 4 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today heard the plea of a live-in relationship couple, who wished to get married against the wishes of their parents and sought protection for it from the state.
“Both of you want to solemnise inter-cast marriage against the wishes of your parents. You seek Court’s shoulder or umbrella to give sanctity to it. Therefore, we are not inclined to pass any such order,” the Bench comprising Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Ajay Rastogi observed.
“We have gone through the representation. We dispose the petitions granting liberty to the petitioners to supplement their representations to the Superintendent of Police. Needless to say that since it concerns life and liberty, the Superintendent of Police is required to act expeditiously in accordance with law, including the grant of any protection to the petitioners in view of the apprehensions/ threats, uninfluenced by the observations of the High Court.”
The order came on a plea filed by Advocate Abhimanyu Tewari. The grounds, which were taken in his plea, inter-alia, are:-
- On the aspect of social morality, the Supreme Court, while dealing with the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in Navtej Johar vs Union of India, has held that obscure notions of social morality, which have no force of law, cannot trample constitutional rights.
- It also urged that the Supreme Court has categorically upheld the right of a person to marry a person of their choice and the duty of the State to grant protection to couples who face threats in Lata Singh vs State of UP
- Morality and Social acceptability cannot override the constitutional right to autonomy granted to the Petitioner by virtue of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. And they cannot be denied protection on the ground that live-in relationships are morally or socially ññunacceptable.
It is pertinent to mention here that The High Court of Punjab and Haryana had passed two orders on 11th and 12th May, denying protection to two couples, on the ground that live-in relationships are not socially acceptable.
Subsequently, the Punjab & Haryana High Court last week referred to a larger bench, the question as to “whether the Court is required to grant protection to two persons living together, without examining their marital status and the other circumstances of that case?” The Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal also added, If the answer to the above is in the negative, what are the circumstances in which the Court can deny them protection? The Single bench of ⁷⁷High Court referred the matter to a larger bench on the view of the fact that various benches of the Court, ouf co-ordinate strength, have formed different opinions on the matter concerned, which, according to the court, cannot be easily reconciled. ILNS\ABV\RJ