HC: Unmarried same-sex couples can live together

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NAINITAL: The Uttarakhand high court, while hearing a

habeas corpus petition

earlier this month, held that same-sex couples have the right to live together even if they are not competent to enter into a wedlock.
A single bench of Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma made this


on June 12 while hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by a woman alleging that her partner — a


with whom she has been in a

consensual relationship

since 2016 — has been illegally confined by her mother and brother.
Citing Article 21 of the


, which upholds right to life and personal liberty, the judge said: “Intimacy of marriage, including the choice of partner, which an individual makes, on whether or not to marry and whom to marry are the aspects which exclusively lie outside the control of the state or the society. The court as an upholder of the constitutional freedom has to safeguard that such a relationship where there is a choice exclusively vested with a major person, has to be honoured.”

Referring to the apex court’s observation that courts should not assume the role of a ‘super guardian’, Justice Sharma said individuals, even those belonging to the same sex, have the “right to live together even outside wedlock”, adding that a live-in relationship is now recognised by the legislature too.

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