Recently, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that a married woman living with another person in live-in-relationship cannot be granted protection inasmuch as such the protection as being asked, may amount to protection against commission of offence under Section 494/495 I.P.C.
The brief facts of the case are that one Asha Devi (Petitioner No.1) married to Mahesh Chandra, filed a Petition along with Suraj Kumar (Petitioner No.2), with whom she was living in live-in-relationship, seeking protection from police against harassment.
The Court framed following questions for its consideration:
(i) Whether the petitioners, who claim themselves to be living together as husband and wife; can be granted protection when the petitioner No.1 is legally wedded wife of someone else and has not taken divorce sofar ?
(ii) Whether protection to petitioners as husband and wife or as live-in-relationship can be granted in exercise of powers conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, when their living together may constitute offences under Sections 494/495 I.P.C. ?
A Division Bench of Hon’ble Justice S.P. Kesarwani and Hon’ble Dr. Justice Y.K. Srivastava examined the scope and definition of live-in-relationship by referring to various Judgments of Supreme Court. Further the court also mentioned that what will not amount to live-in-relationship- such as concubine, polygamy etc.
After examining aforesaid the bench concluded that in this case the Petitioner No.1 who is married and there is no decree for anulling such marriage, therefore her relation with Petitioner No.2 cannot be termed as live-in-relationship. The Court observed:
Once the petitioner No.1 is a married woman being wife of one Mahesh Chandra, the act of petitioners particularly the petitioner No.2, may constitute an offence under Sections 494/495 I.P.C. Such a relationship does not fall within the phrase “live-in-relationship” or “relationship in the nature of marriage”. The writ petition has been filed by the petitioners for protection from interference by others in their living as husband and wife. If the protection as prayed is granted, it may amount to grant protection against commission of offences under Sections 494/495 I.P.C.
The Court held that writ of mandamus can be issued for enforcement of a legal right not otherwise. But in the present case issuance of writ of mandamus amounts to protection against commission of an offence punishable under IPC.
Therefore the Court dismissed the Writ Petition.