The petitioners, aged 21 and 22, were in a live-in relationship for a few years in the state of Uttar Pradesh. They faced opposition from there families who were threatening to use coercive measures. They sought civil protection from their families to continue living peacefully.
ISSUES AND DECISION:
The issue before the court was of the protection of the same-sex couple who faced resistance at the hands of their family members regarding their sexual orientation. The petitioners referred to Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India and Sultana Mirza v. State of UP to depict the difference between the law and societal reality. The prayer sought was not to adopt any coercive process against the petitioners and for a further direction to family members not to interfere in the peaceful living of the petitioners.
The Court, citing the Navtej Johar ruling, stated that sexual orientation is an intrinsic element of liberty, dignity, privacy, individual autonomy and equality. It held that the right to love and to a partner, to find fulfilment in a same-sex relationship is essential to a society which believes in freedom under a constitutional order based on rights. As such, it directed the Senior Superintendent of Police to extend suitable protection to them if they approach the Police Station.
This order enforces the law laid down in the Navtej judgment with respect to same-sex relationships. It recognised the negative and positive obligations on the State. By allowing for the protection of same-sex couples by the police, the Court directed the state to carry out its positive obligation.