Kochi, June 1: The Kerala High Court on Friday gave a milestone judgement by allowing a 19-year-old girl and an 18-year-boy to live together. It said the court cannot “shut its eyes to live-in relationships”, News18 reported. Dismissing the plea submitted by the girl’s father, the High Court bench comprising Justice V Chitambaresh and Justice K P Jyothindranath said that such partners cannot be separated as they are major.

“The constitutional court is bound to respect the unfettered right of a major to have a live-in relationship even though the same may not be palatable to the orthodox section of the society,” the court was quoted as saying. It further said that the woman is free to live with the boy or marry him later when he attains the legal marriageable age i.e. 21 years.

In May, the Supreme Court said that an adult couple has the right to live together without marriage while asserting that a 20-year-old Kerala woman, whose marriage had been annulled, could choose who she wanted to live with. The top court held that live-in relationships were now recognized by the legislature and they had found a place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The observations came while the apex court was hearing a plea filed by one Nandakumar against a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with Thushara on the ground that he had not attained the legal age of marriage.

(With agency inputs)