Two Same-sex Adults Living Together Not Illegal: Kolkata High Court

A Kolkata High Court bench comprising Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Ravi Krishan Kapur has observed that cohabitation by two adults of same-sex cannot be termed illegal.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by one woman (X) who alleged that her lesbian partner (Y) is under illegal confinement, reported LiveLaw.

“Consensual cohabitation between two adults of the same sex cannot, in our understanding, be illegal far less a crime. Fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India inheres within its wide amplitude an inherent right of self-determination with regard to one’s identity and freedom of choice with regard to sexual orientation or choice of partner. We are of the view that such self-determination in the matter of sexual preference or consensual intercourse, even if not procreative, is inherent for the enjoyment of life and liberty of every individual and is protected under our scheme of constitutional morality and cannot be whittled down on the concept of morality or religion of others,” the bench observed.

The court then dismissed the petition, stating that the victim was “entitled to lead her own life as per her own choice in the matter of sexual orientation or preference to a partner unless the same contravenes any law for the time being in force.”

Sukhdeep Singh