In a landmark verdict that comes weeks after the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality, the Kerala High Court earlier this week has allowed a lesbian couple to live together.
The two-judge division bench of Justice CK Abdul Rahim and Justice KP Narayana Pisharody issued the order after taking into consideration a habeas corpus petition filed by a 40-year-old lady from Kollam, who is in a relationship with a 24-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram.
According to this report in the Times of India, in the petition, the 40-year-old alleged that her younger partner was being illegally detained by her father. On Tuesday, both women were back living together at the 40-year-old’s home in Kollam district, where they had resided together for merely a day on August 12 before the 24-year-old’s family forcibly separated them.
It was on August 12, when the younger partner left her residence in Thiruvananthapuram alongside the 40-year-old to the latter’s home in Kollam district. Responding to their daughter’s actions, the 24-year-old’s parents filed a missing person complaint with the local police.
On the following day, they were detained at the Neyyattinkara police station in Thiruvananthapuram district and presented before a magistrate’s court, reports Scroll.
Although it allowed the couple to leave together, the 24-year-old was abducted outside the court, taken home, and subsequently admitted into a mental hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Fortunately for the 40-year-old, the couple could meet inside the hospital premises, but authorities there insisted on a court order before they could let the 24-year-old leave.
Soon after, the 40-year-old filed a habeas corpus petition, and 24-year-old postgraduate was produced before the court, where she told her wish of living with her partner.
The court eventually ruled in the couple’s favour.
“We want to show society that same-sex couples can also lead normal lives,” the 40-year-old told Scroll. Meanwhile, her lawyer Ferha Azess said, “This was the first same-sex rights case filed in the Kerala High Court after the Supreme Court trashed Section 377.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)