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Adults free to marry or live with person of their choice, even parents cant interfere: Allahabad High Court

In a significant ruling, the Allahabad High Court has firmly asserted the rights of consenting adults, stating that even parents have no authority to interfere with their decision to marry or live together. This landmark decision, delivered on September 5, came in response to a petition filed by an inter-faith couple and carried profound implications for personal freedom and choice.

The court’s order was clear and unambiguous: no one, including parents, can disrupt the peaceful coexistence of two consenting adults. Should their harmonious life be disrupted, the court directed the couple to approach the police, who are then obliged to provide immediate protection.

The petitioners, a Muslim woman and her Hindu live-in partner, had sought the court’s intervention to prevent their families from interfering in their lives. Their plea also included a request for police protection, a testament to the challenges they faced due to societal pressures and religious differences.

The woman’s mother and other family members are allegedly harassing and disturbing the petitioners’ peaceful life. She has also threatened the petitioners with dire consequences, the petition claimed. The woman sought protection from the Gautam Budh Nagar Commissionerate police commissioner on August 4 but it was of no avail.

The state counsel, in response, argued that the petitioners belonged to different religious backgrounds and contended that a live-in relationship was punishable under Muslim personal law. They cited a previous order from the Lucknow bench of the High Court, which had denied protection to live-in couples. However, the Allahabad High Court made it clear that the denial in that particular case did not constitute a blanket order, emphasizing that each case should be considered on its individual merits.

Last month, the same court however said that individuals below the age of 18 are prohibited from engaging in live-in relationships, branding such acts not only as morally objectionable but also legally impermissible.

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