Monday, May 12, 2014

No stopping living together

Advice - Rights and Laws, May '14
By Kaushik Gupta

Reader queries

My age is 23 years old and my partner is 22 years old. I want to spend my life with my partner. But I can’t see the way forward. If our families don’t support us, what should I do so that I can live with my partner and not face any problem? Please help me.

If two adults decide to stay together, then there is no law in India that can stop them from doing so. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes particular kinds of sexual acts an offence. It does not say that two or more men or women cannot stay together. However, what is more important here is not the legality but the viability of such an option. Unfortunately, in our society we start our adult life much later than our legal age of attaining adulthood. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of financial independence.

In your case, if both of you can afford a flat and earn your living, then legally no one can force you apart from each other. If the families threaten to inform the police, both of you can approach a lawyer, affirm an affidavit before a notary and submit the same beforehand to the police stations where your respective residences are and also where both of you will be staying together. It is not a mandatory step but can be used as a precautionary one.

The right to decide where and with whom we stay should be read as a part of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India. If the police refuse to give protection, you can file a writ petition before a High Court, which will issue orders upon the police to ensure protection for both of you.

Kaushik Gupta is a lawyer by profession, a photographer by passion, and happy to answer your queries on legal matters around gender and sexuality. Write in your queries to, and they will be answered with due respect to confidentiality.

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