Orissa high court allows woman to live-in with same-sex partner

Updated on Aug 25, 2020 11:04 PM IST

Hearing a habeas corpus petition, a division bench of Justice SK Mishra and Justice Savitri Ratho directed the police to provide security to the partner of the woman so that she could start living with her.

The Odisha High Court said that the petitioner has the right of self-determination of sex/gender and also has the right to have a live-in relationship with a person of choice even though such person may belong to the same gender as the petitioner. (HT Photo)
The Odisha High Court said that the petitioner has the right of self-determination of sex/gender and also has the right to have a live-in relationship with a person of choice even though such person may belong to the same gender as the petitioner. (HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty

The Orissa High Court has allowed a 24-year-old woman to live with her same-sex partner after the latter’s family members reportedly tried to get her married to a boy against her wish.

Hearing a habeas corpus petition, a division bench of Justice SK Mishra and Justice Savitri Ratho directed the police to provide security to the partner of the woman so that she could start living with her. Though the order was passed on Monday, it was uploaded on the high court portal on Tuesday.

Petitioner Chinmayee Jena alias Sonu Krishna Jena had filed a habeas corpus application under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution seeking production of her woman partner, alleging that she was being kept away by her mother and uncle. The petitioner told the court that her partner’s mother and uncle were now trying to marry her off.

Jena, who produced a certification of Gender Dysphoria for Trans man from a psychiatrist, had claimed that he and his partner had fallen in love with each other in 2011 and had been enjoying a consensual relationship since 2017. The two were studying in the same school and later in the same college. After completing their respective studies, Jena got a private job at Bhubaneswar and was staying on rent in the city.

Jena claimed that while she was staying in a live-in relationship with her partner, in April this year, the latter’s mother and uncle came to her and forcibly took her away against her will. It was done against her will even though both of them had become majors. She also cited the provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which acknowledged live-in relationships.

Citing the orders of Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India case in which the apex court held that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code transgressed Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, the High Court bench said that the petitioner has the right of self-determination of sex/gender and also has the right to have a live-in relationship with a person of choice even though such person may belong to the same gender as the petitioner.

During the hearing through virtual mode, the petitioner woman’s partner told the HC that she wants to join the company of the petitioner without further delay.

The HC also ordered that the petitioner would have to allow the mother and sister of her partner to be in touch with her and that her partner would have all the rights of a woman as enshrined under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

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