The High Court in Allahabad refused to grant protection to a woman and her lover, saying the Constitution can allow a live relationship, but the petition was filed to get the court seal on their illegal relationship.
The Division Bench of Judge Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Judge Ajai Tyagi passed the order while hearing a motion filed by Smt Sunita Devi and another.
The written petition under Section 226 of the Constitution was filed by the petitioners asking for the protection of their lives and liberties as they are of legal age and through the written petition the petitioners prayed for the following remedies :
“UN. To issue an order or direction in the nature of a Mandamus ordering and directing respondents not to harass or take coercive action in any way against petitioners and also not to interfere with peaceful life applicants as husband and wife.
B. Issuing an order or direction in the nature of a Mandamus Ordering and directing Respondent #3 not to harass and interfere with the peaceful life of the petitioners.
C. Issue any appropriate writ, order or direction that the Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case to meet the ends of justice.
D. Award the cost to the applicants. »
The Court noted,
The facts and the chronology of events show that Claimant No. 1, Smt Sunita Devi, was married to Respondent No. 3, Ranveer Singh, according to her own version of 6.5.2010 and that there are children born outside of said marriage. Her husband serves in a poultry farm. It’s her version that she was harassed because he had come into contact with bad elements and didn’t come home until midnight. When she complained to her parents, they scolded her, after which the situation calmed down for a few months but, again, he started to do the same again. On 7.9.2021, he came with his friends and wanted her to have illicit relations with his friends which she refused and at night, while her husband and children were sleeping, she left the marital home.
All this was stated in the complaint dated 1.9.2021 addressed to the Superintendent of Police, Etawah.
The Court said,
We are unable to reconcile how the incident of 7.9.2021 can be recounted in a complaint dated 1.9.2021. There was no mention whether the same was posted to the police authority or not. Anyway, immediately afterwards, on 22.10.2021, this petition in brief was filed.
Until September 2021, she was with Respondent #3 and her daughters. Since when Petitioner #1 and Petitioner #2 have been living as husband and wife is not disclosed. When husband, Respondent #3, threatened their relationship is also not disclosed. A similar situation occurred in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the case of Himani and another against the State of Haryana, decided on 26.11.2021, where the duration of the relationship did not not even mentioned. In our case, too, there is no indication of when the applicants began to live together. Petitioner #1 wants to live with Petitioner #2 without a formal divorce and/or she doesn’t even want to have a marital relationship with Respondent #3 and no reason has been given for such a measure drastic.
Counsel for the petitioner relied on the decision in Indra Sarma v. VK Sarma, AIR 2014 SC 309. The judgment cited by the petitioner deals with believing in a relationship where domestic violence is perpetrated and the defense is taken that there was no marriage.
The Court added,
In light of the above, it cannot be said that the relationship outside of marriage should also be recognized by Indian law. The said judgment categorically mentions that the relationship of cohabitation as such is a relationship that has not been socially accepted in India unlike many other countries.
So to say that India is governed by the Constitution of India and that we are not living in the primitive times makes no difference because in the case, the applicants cannot be said to be living as husband and wife and this appears from the record and from counsel’s submission. for the petitioner that the marriage of petitioner #1, Sunita Devi, to respondent #3, Ranveer Singh, has not yet been dissolved. Further, there is nothing on the record to show as to when Respondent #3 threatened her while she was in a direct relationship, as up until September 2021 she says she was with her husband and children.
We have occasion to deal with the granting of protection to two persons of the same sex. The Constitution of India may allow live relationship but this petition in writ is nothing but filed for the purpose of getting the seal of this Court on their unlawful relationship.
The Court ruled,
The Constitutional mandate will not allow us to pass orders that cannot be passed in a written petition under Section 226 of the Constitution. We have determined whether there is any act, omission or conduct of the respondent that would allow us to issue a direction prohibiting any coercive action or to grant protection. The list of dates and events shows that Petitioner #1 deliberately came up with incorrect facts because her complaint did not result in the filing of the FIR. We don’t even know if the said complaint was published or not, because this request in brief was filed immediately, namely on 22/23.10.2021, and therefore there is no prolonged cohabitation of the live relationship as so claims the reason for the request. because according to her, she left the marital home leaving behind her husband and children on 07.9.2021. This is a gray area for the police to investigate. The domestic relationship as defined by the Apex Court in Indra Sarma (Supra) will not apply to the facts of this case.
The said decision also goes against the assertion raised by the petitioner. However, we believe that even a person suspected of having committed an offence, if threatened with serious consequences to his life, can seek protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The factual scenario will not allow us to grant prayer ‘A’ as it would be contrary to the very principles of people’s married life. Personal autonomy rather than the notion of social morality can be addressed but not at the stage where there is less cohabitation time. There is no perception of threat and no such complaint has been filed with the police authorities.
The Court also said, in the case, there is no evidence that the husband, Respondent 3, even remotely threatened this relationship. The threat, if any, can be eliminated, from the incident related in the complaint of 1.9.2021. The police would investigate it if there was any semblance of truth according to the law.
In view of the above, the Court dismissed the motion for an order with a cost of Rs 5,000/- because there is no perception of threat as requested by the petitioners of Respondent No. 3. The Constitution of India does not allow us to issue mandamus when there is no threat. alleged or transpired perception.
“However, if Applicant No. 1 displaces the police authorities by showing that she has genuine grievances or a threat to her life, the police authority may take action after verification of all the facts as related by her in the complaint filed in September 2021 with the Superintendent of Police, Etawah,” the order read.