The Court stated,
“Such a relationship does not fall within the ambit of a live-in relationship in nature of marriage,”.
The bench set-up for the hearing consisted of Justice SP Kesarwani and Justice YK Srivastava.
The court further observed that if a married woman is living with another person without divorcing her husband, she won’t be entitled to protection, in fact, this act constitutes an offense.
A writ petition was filed in the Allahabad High court by the petitioners asking for protection from interference by others in their live-in relationship.
Petitioners Asha Devi and Suraj Kumar had moved the court contending that both of them were adults which were living as husband and wife in a live-in relationship and that no one should interfere in their lives.
As per the opposing counsel, it was argued that the petitioner, Asha Devi, was earlier married to Mahesh Chandra, and did not obtain a divorce before she started living with Suraj Kumar, the second petitioner. Hence, amounting to an offence and thus, should not be entitled to any protection.
It was observed by the bench that Asha Devi was still legally wedded to Mahesh Chandra and hence, was still Mr. Chandra’s wife.
The Court observed that if the couple is granted legal protection as prayed, it may amount to granting of protection against Commission of Offences under section 494 (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) and section 495 (same offence with concealment of former marriage from the person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted), of the Indian Penal Code.
The bench noted that the petitioners had no legal right for protection based on the facts,
“…on the facts of the present case inasmuch as such the protection as being asked, may amount to protection against the commission of offence… it is a well-settled law that writ of mandamus cannot be issued contrary to law or to defeat a statutory provision, including penal provision.
The petitioners do not have legally protected and judicially enforceable subsisting right to ask for mandamus.”
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