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HomeNews Reports‘Punishment for pre-marital sex is 100 lashes in Islam’: Allahabad HC refuses protection to...

‘Punishment for pre-marital sex is 100 lashes in Islam’: Allahabad HC refuses protection to an interfaith live-in couple as they don’t intend to marry soon

The court said, ‘Zina has been defined as any sexual intercourse except that between husband and wife, such premarital sex is not permissible in Islam, any sexual, lustful, affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring, etc. are "Haram" in Islam before marriage’

On the 24th of June, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a plea for police protection filed by an Interfaith Live-In couple. The couple had come to seek the court’s protection against alleged harassment by the Police. While dismissing the plea, the High Court observed that in Islam, any sexual, lustful, affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring, etc before marriage is prohibited. 

The court observed that the couple, a 29-year-old Hindu woman and a 30-year-old Muslim man, did not show any intention to marry soon. Subsequently, the two-judge bench comprising Justices Sangeeta Chandra and Narendra Kumar Johari stated that according to Muslim law, sexual relations outside of marriage are not recognised.

The court said, “Zina which has been defined as any sexual intercourse except that between husband and wife includes both extramarital sex and premarital sex and is often translated as fornication in English. Such premarital sex is not permissible in Islam. In fact, any sexual, lustful, affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring, etc. are “Haram” in Islam before marriage because these are considered parts of ‘Zina’ which may lead to actual ‘Zina’ itself.”

The bench added, “The punishment for such offence according to Quran (chapter 24) is a hundred lashes for the unmarried male and female who commit fornication together with the punishment prescribed by the ‘Sunnah’ for the married male and female that is stoning to death.”

The Petitioner’s claim and major observations by the Court

Essentially, the petitioners claimed that they are facing harassment from the police. Claiming that they come under the ambit of the Apex Court’s ruling in the case of Lata Singh vs. the State of UP (2006), the couple claimed that they should be given protection by the Court.  

The court remarked that the Supreme Court’s opinions on ‘live-in’ relationships “cannot be considered to promote such relationships”. Referring to previous cases which touched on the subject of Live-In relationships vis-a-vis laws of the land, the court titled its remark in favour of the institution of marriage.  

The Court stated, “The Observations of the Supreme Court as aforesaid however cannot be considered to promote such relationships. Law traditionally has been biased in favour of marriage. It reserves many rights and privileges to married persons to preserve and encourage the institution of marriage. the Supreme Court is simply accepting a social reality and it has no intention to unravel the fabric of Indian family life.”

The Court stated that on several occasions, the Supreme Court observed that section 125 CrPC is not meant for granting maintenance to the “other woman” – a case where a man, having a living lawfully wedded wife, either marries for a second time or starts living with a concubine. 

The Court further noted that the apex court refused to broaden the definition of the term “wife” mentioned in section 125 of the CrPC to include live-in partners seeking maintenance claims.

The court’s ruling highlighted the importance of raising awareness among young individuals about the emotional, societal, and legal challenges that can arise from being in a live-in relationship.

The court observed that in this particular instance, the petitioners have only claimed that, since they are of legal age, they have the right to live with whomever they choose. However, the mother of one of the petitioners had expressed her dissatisfaction with this relationship. The Court remarked that writ jurisdiction is not made out in such matters of dispute between two private parties. 

The Court observed, “Writ jurisdiction being extraordinary jurisdiction is not made to resolve such type of dispute between two private parties. We believe that it is a social problem which can be uprooted socially and not by the intervention of the Writ Court in the garb of violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India unless harassment is established beyond doubt.”

Other remedial measures available

The Court also stated that if a live-in couple faces genuine issues with their parents or relatives who interfere with their live-in relationship, to the extent that their lives are threatened, they have the freedom to take certain actions. These actions include filing a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 154 (1) or Section 154 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) with the Police, submitting an application under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC to the appropriate Court, or initiating a complaint case under Section 200 of the CrPC.

The Honourable High Court made these observations while dismissing the protection plea (against police harassment) filed by an interfaith couple. They had alleged that the mother of the woman was unhappy with their Live-In relationship and lodged an FIR against them. 

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