Case Title: Kiran Rawat & State
A division bench of Justice Sangeeta Chandra and Justice Narendra Kumar Johari of Allahabad High Court while dismissing the writ petition, denied protection to an inter-faith couple who are in a live-in relationship.
The bench observed that law traditionally has been biased in favour of marriage and supreme court is accepting a social reality, they cannot considerd to promote such relationships.
“The observations of the Supreme Court as aforesaid however cannot be considered to promote such relationships. Law traditionally has been biased in favour of marriage. It reserves many rights and privileges to married persons to preserve and encourage the institution of marriage. The Supreme Court is simply accepting a social reality and it has no intention to unravel the fabric of Indian family life”.
The bench further opined that “We believe that it is a social problem which can be uprooted socially and not by the intervention of the Writ Court in the garb of violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India unless harassment is established beyond doubt”.
The writ plea was filed by a 29-year-old Hindu woman and 30-year-old Muslim Man who claimed that FIR was filed against them as woman’s mother disapproved of their live-in relationship.
They also claimed that they are facing threat to their lives from their relatives.
The Court in reply stated that the petitioners before coming to the Court can file a FIR , if they are facing any threat to their lives from their relatives.
The bench further said that if any parents find that their daughter or son has eloped with somebody for getting married against their will or underage, they are equally at liberty to take similar steps.
The bench said that Muslim law does not permit sexual relationship without marriage, it is considered as ‘Zina’ itself “In fact any sexual, lustful, affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring etc. are ‘Haram’ in Islam before marriage because these are considered parts of ‘Zina’ which may lead to actual ‘Zina’ itself. The punishment for such offence according to Quran (chapter 24) is hundred lashes for the unmarried male and female who commit fornication together with the punishment prescribed by the “Sunnah” for the married male and female that is stoning to death”.
The bench opined that awareness has to be created among the young mind that such relationship may create issues like division of property, violence, and cheating etc “Awareness has to be created in young minds not just from the point of view of emotional and societal pressures that such relationships may create, but also from the perspective that it could give rise to various legal hassles on issues like division of property, violence and cheating within live-in relationships, rehabilitation in case of desertion by or death of a partner and handling of custody and other issues when it comes to children born from such relationships. Partners in a live-in relationship do not enjoy an automatic right of inheritance to the property of their partner”.
The Court declined to intervene in the matter and said that the petitioners had not claimed that they are legally married, they had only argued that they had the right to live with whomever they choose as they are adults.