A division bench of Justices S.K. Mishra and Savitri Ratho pronounced the order on the petition filed by Chinmayee and extended the protection of domestic violence law to the woman partner and said: “All kinds of protection including the right to life, equality before the law, and equal protection of law shall be provided by the State to the same-sex couple.”

Passing an order in favor of the 24-yr-old woman having a same-gender partner as her companion in a habeas corpus plea was filed by the partner under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution seeking protection of her woman partner, The Orissa High Court says that ”Love knows no bounds, the society should support their decision.”

“Love is what your heart tells you”, Chinmayee Jena alias Sonu Krishna never imagined life without her same-gender partner Rashmi (name changed). It was only when the parents against her will took away her right to stay with her companion and kept her in isolation,  she knocked the doors of the Court.

The petitioner claimed that they fell in love in 2011 and had been living consensually since 2017 till her partner’s mother and uncle forcibly took her away and tried to marry her off with someone of their choice in April this year. She also cited that both of them are majors and can stay together under the Provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The High Court bench said that the petitioner has the right to self-determination of gender. She also has the right to have a live-in relationship with a person of choice, even when the person belongs to the same gender.

Police were directed to provide security to Rashmi so that the couple would start living together, as enshrined in Part-III (fundamental rights) of the Constitution by the bench after hearing the petition through virtual mode.

Originally belonging to the female gender, the petitioner by exercising her rights of self gender determination has preferred to address herself as of the male gender. Thus, The HC has recognized the right and referred to him as he/him/his.

Reported By : Gayatri Lachke

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