In a landmark verdict, Kerala High Court gave permission to an 18-year-old boy and 19-year-old girl to live together.
The Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice V Chitambaresh and Justice K P Jyothindranath gave this ruling, while rejecting the habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s father, Muhammed Riyad seeking a directive to the police to produce his 19-year-old daughter, who was allegedly detained by the 18-year-old boy.
The Supreme Court had recently held that adults have the right to be in a live-in relationship, even if they have not attained the legal age for marriage.The two belong to Islam religion.
While hearing the petition submitted by the father, a native of Alappuzha, the court observed that the couple had come of age and the court couldn’t make emotional interference into their affairs.
The court said it cannot close its eyes to the fact that live-in relationships have become rampant in our society and such partners cannot be separated by the issue of a writ of a habeas corpus provided they are major.
The constitutional court is bound to respect the unfettered right of a major to have a live-in relationship even though the same may not be palatable to the orthodox section of the society.
The court held that the girl is free to live with the boy or marry him later when he attains the marriageable age.
The father in his complaint said that the girl has not completed 21 years of age and hence is a ‘child’ as defined under Section 2 (a) of the prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006. The father submitted that there can be no valid marriage between the girl and the boy and any offspring born on them can only be an illegitimate child in the eye of law.
However, the court observed that the girl had attained puberty and had the capacity to marry both under Section 251 of Mahomedan Law as well as the provisions of the Act.