Same sex couples can live together: Uttarakhand HC

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Consensual cohabitation between two adults of the same sex is not illegal or a crime, the Uttarakhand high court observed recently while hearing a petition.

Individuals from the same sex might not be competent to enter into a wedlock since the law does not recognize such marriages, but they still have a right to live together even outside the wedlock, justice Sharad Kumar Sharma stated in an order passed on June 12.

“It is a fundamental right which is guaranteed to a person under article 21 of the Constitution of India, which is wide enough to protect an inherent right of self determination with regards to one’s identity and freedom of choice with regards to the sexual orientation of choice of the partner”, the court said.

The Habeas Corpus petition was filed by a woman alleging that her partner, with whom the petitioner was in a consensual relationship since 2016, was being wrongfully confined by her mother and brother.

The term Habeas Corpus literally translates as “produce the body” and is a plea seeking a directive to the government to produce a detainee before the court.

Even if the parties, who are living together though they are belonging to the same gender; they are not competent to enter into a wedlock, but still they have got a right to live together even outside the wedlock,” the court observed.

The court, however, eventually dismissed the petition after the woman, alleged to have been wrongfully detained, told the court she is not under pressure or a wrongful confinement by her family members.

“In view of the statements and affidavit on record, this Habeas Corpus petition is dismissed because of the statement recorded by the detenue herself before this Court that she is not under pressure or a wrongful confinement”, the court said.

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