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Every adult has a Fundamental Right to ‘Choice of a Partner’, parents cannot force them to live life on their terms : Punjab And Haryana HC

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The Punjab and Haryana HC bench of Justice Alka Sarin while deciding a case of protection of life and liberty of a live-in partner, stated that “Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms”, every adult has a Fundamental Right to ‘Choice of a Partner’.

The Case

Both the petitioners (woman and man) know each other from the last one year and they wanted to marry. The bench noted as stated in the petition that, both the petitioners are major.

The fight took place between the families when the woman’s father came to know about their relationship. The woman’s father threatened her to kill and confined her into a room, and also took her mobile phone. The woman’s father decides to marry her against her wish.

In Dec (this year), the woman left her parental home and started living with the man (petitioner number 2). They started living in a live-in relationship because the man has not attained marriageable age. The bench also noted that, the respondent no 4, 5 and 6 were threatening the petitioners.

The learned counsel for the petitioners submitted, that the petitioners has also moved a representation dated to the SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab but no action has been taken thereon.

The Bench

The bench stated that, both the petitioners are major and have a right to live their life on their own terms.

“She is well within her right to decide for herself what is good for her and what is not. She has decided to take a step to be in a live-in-relationship with petitioner No.2 who is also major, though may not be of a marriageable age.”

It further states that, every adult has the right to live as per their wishes, and this cannot be determined by parents to lead their children to a life according to them.

“The private respondent Nos.4 to 6 being family members of petitioner No.1, who is a major, cannot dictate to petitioner No.1 how and with whom she chooses to spend her life. Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms. Every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit.”

The bench also stated that, the ‘Constitution of India’ guarantees every individual ‘the right to life’ and ‘choice of a partner’.

“The petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life. The Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to life and the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life.”

The bench disposed of the petition, and directed the SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib to take necessary action as per law on the representation of the petitioners.

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