Allahabad High Court orders protection for same-sex couple

Two women had approached it facing resistance from their kin

Published - January 30, 2021 01:11 am IST - LUCKNOW

Noting that it was duty-bound to monitor the rights of the citizens under threat on account of their sexual orientation, the Allahabad High Court has directed police protection for a same-sex woman couple in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur.

The two women, aged 23 and 22, have been in a live-in relationship for a couple of years and are voluntarily living with each other on account of their sexual orientation, the court said.

They are, however, facing resistance from their family members and had approached the court seeking directions to their families to not interfere in their relationship. “The petition highlights the stark reality of the society where the citizens are facing discrimination at the hands of the society only on account of their sexual orientation despite it being well settled that sexual orientation is innate to human being,” the court said in an order dated January 21.

A Division Bench of Justices Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Sanjay Kumar Pachori directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Saharanpur to extend suitable protection to the petitioners in the event they approach the officer for necessary protection and ensure that no harassment is caused to them.

SC verdict

Counsel for the petitioners contended that despite legitimacy being accorded to such relations by the Supreme Court in the case of Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1, the petitioners are being threatened with violation of their rights enshrined under Article21 of the Constitution only on the ground of their sexual orientation.

“... this Court being a constitutional Court is duty bound to monitor and observe the Constitutional morality as well as the rights of the citizens which are under threat only on account of the sexual orientation,” the High Court said.

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