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Protection for Live-in Couples

The protection of the right to life and liberty is a fundamental promise made by the maker of our constitution to meet the requirements of citizens. The Hon'ble Supreme Court and High Courts have developed jurisprudence of life and liberty protection that is extended to runaway couples (inter-religion, inter-caste, or any societal situations), and live-in partners, adapting and acknowledging the constantly changing social scenario and extending the application and scope of Article 21 in all spheres of life. The Hon'ble Apex Court and different High Courts around the country have extended protection to spouses and laid down the legislation relating to their life and liberty.

Protection granted by the court is frequently misunderstood by couples/partners as a type of court marriage. It is critical to recognize that it should not be confused with court marriage, as court marriage refers to the process of registering a marriage with the Registrar of Marriages, and the court does not validate the legality of any marriage (unless either spouse contests it), but rather protects individual constitutional rights.

Few Reasons for Disapproval of Live-In Couples:

  • Lack of knowledge of constitutional principles
  • The social structure of society;
  • Individual economic strata;
  • Family priorities;
  • Old belies;
  • Segregation among faiths, castes, ethnicities, races, and other groups

Why Protection of the Live-in Couples in Needed?

In recent decades, it has been noted that couples who marry against their parents' desires or society's accepted norms face the seeming threat of losing their lives. In countless examples of inter-caste, inter-religion marriages, or live-in couples, honor killings in the name of family or social pride have been observed. These occurrences are diametrically opposed to liberal democracy.

Our founding fathers of the Constitution were well aware of the societal conditions that existed at the time, and they took such challenges very seriously. Apart from other aspects of the Right to Life and Liberty, the insertion of Article 21 in the Constitution was an overarching action in the direction of maintaining security and tranquility for citizens and non-citizens.

Who Can Seek Protection:

  • Runaway inter-religion marriages couples;
  • Runaway inter-caste marriages couples;
  • Runaway couples in any other socially unacceptable marriages, such as those formed without the permission of parents and relatives;
  • Runaway couples (interfaith, intercaste, or any other socially unacceptable relationship);
  • After reaching the age of majority, live-in partners in general;
  • Live-in partnerships formed before reaching the legal marriageable age;
  • Live-in partners who have not divorced their spouses;
  • After receiving a divorce, live-in partners;
  • Any other person whose constitutional right to life and liberty is at risk;
  • Homosexual couples who live together.

Hopes from the Supreme Court of India:

The Hon'ble Supreme Court's recent decisions have given all sections of society hope that the Supreme Court is committed to the Indian Constitution and is the ultimate guardian of citizens' rights. The majority of India's High Courts have followed the law put forth by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has found historic laws based on Victorian morality illegal and unconstitutional in recent years, and there is a good probability that additional similar laws will be deemed unconstitutional in the future.


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