Saleha And Another v. State Of Up And 3 Others

WRIT – C No. – 1845 of 2024

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a request for protection for a Hindu man and Muslim lady living together. The court noted that the woman had not yet divorced her previous husband and that it was against Muslim law (Shariat) for her to cohabit with another man.

The Court noted that a Muslim woman who is lawfully married is prohibited from having extramarital affairs and that living with another man would be considered “Zina,” or fornication, and “Haram,” or forbidden, in accordance with Shariat Law.

The Court further observed that because the Muslim woman in the live-in relationship had not submitted an application to change her faith, she was still subject to Muslim law.

If the woman was living with a guy other than her husband, Justice Renu Agarwal continued, without obtaining a divorce from her husband, it may constitute the offence of bigamy under the Indian Penal Code. The Court proceeded to dismiss the live-in couple’s plea for protection.

Such type of criminal act cannot be supported and protected by the Court,” the judge said.

A married Muslim woman and her Hindu live-in boyfriend filed a protection application with the court, citing worries for the woman’s safety. The pair was being threatened by the woman’s father and other family members, the court was informed.

The woman informed the court that her husband was living with a second wife after getting remarried.

She claimed that as a result of her father’s abuse, she went back to live with her parents but afterwards made the decision to move in with a Hindu man.

The state denied the couple’s request for protection, arguing that the live-in relationship could not be protected by law because the woman had begun living with the Hindu man in adultery and had not received a divorce from her previous marriage.

The Court agreed with the State’s stance.

The Court determined that the married Muslim woman’s live-in relationship was against Islamic law (Shariat), “wherein a legally wedded wife cannot go outside marriage,” after citing a number of rulings.

The Court noted that such actions by Muslim women are classified as Haram and Zina.

“If we go to the criminality of the act of petitioner no. 1, she may be prosecuted for the offence under sections 494 (bigamy) and 495 IPC, as such a relationship is not covered within the phrase live-in relationship or relationship in the nature of marriage,” the court stated.

The woman remained a Muslim, according to the Court, and she had not applied to the relevant authority to change her faith in accordance with Sections 8 and 9 of the Conversion Act.”

The Court dismissed the plea entered by her and her live-in partner after concluding that she was not eligible for the protection requested.

Adv. Khanak Sharma

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