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  4. Allahabad HC rules against legal rights for Muslims in live-in relationships when having spouse | DETAILS

Allahabad HC rules against legal rights for Muslims in live-in relationships when having spouse | DETAILS

The court emphasised the importance of balancing constitutional morality and social morality in matters concerning marriage institutions. It warned that failing to strike this balance could lead to the erosion of social coherence, hindering the pursuit of peace and tranquillity in society.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Prayagraj Updated on: May 09, 2024 7:57 IST
Muslims cannot claim rights in live-in relationship when having spouse: Allahabad High Court
Image Source : PTI An image of the Allahabad High Court.

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday stated that Muslims cannot assert rights in a live-in relationship if they have a spouse, as such a relationship contradicts Islamic principles. The Lucknow bench of Justices AR Masoodi and AK Srivastava-I made these remarks during the hearing of a writ petition filed by Sneha Devi and Mohd Shadab Khan. The couple sought protection from police action after Sneha Devi's parents filed a kidnapping case against Khan.

What was the matter? 

The court directed Devi to be sent to her parents under security. The petitioners claimed to be in a live-in relationship, but faced accusations of kidnapping from the woman's parents. They also sought protection of their lives and liberty, citing their status as adults and referring to previous rulings by the Supreme Court regarding the freedom of adults to cohabit in a live-in relationship.

The court's order

"Islamic tenets do not permit live-in relationships during the subsisting marriage. The position may be different if the two persons are unmarried and the parties being major choose to lead their lives in a way of their own," the bench said while declining to pass an order on the issue of protection of life and liberty.

On an inquiry, the bench came to know that Khan was married to Farida Khatoon in 2020 and the couple had a baby. The court observed that constitutional morality and social morality in the matter of marriage institutions required to be balanced, failing which social coherence for achieving the object of peace and tranquillity in the society would fade and disappear. It also directed the police that petitioner Sneha Devi be sent to her parents under security.

What did the court say on couple seeking protection under Article 21?

While the couple sought protection under Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty), the court observed, "The constitutional morality may come to the rescue of such a couple and the social morality settled through the customs and usages over ages may give way to the constitutional morality and protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India may step in to protect the cause. The case before us is, however, different."

The bench further stated that the constitutional protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would not lend an un-canalised support to such a right, once the usages and customs prohibit such a relationship between the two individuals of different faiths. 

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ: Declare live-in relationships or face jail up to 6 months, states Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code

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