“The phrase love knows no bounds has expanded its bounds to include same-sex relationships.” – Orissa High Court.
The Orissa High Court, on Monday, allowed the petition of a 24-year-old woman to live with her same-sex partner. The couple was in a live-in relationship since April 2020. The latter’s mother and uncle took her away and kept her in forceful custody at Bari in Jajpur district. The petitioner also informed the court that they were trying to marry her partner away to a boy against her will. The divisional bench of Justice S.K Mishra and Justice Savitri Ratho interacted with the victim woman through virtual mode. After ascertaining whether she wants to stay with her partner, the court directed the superintendent of police to provide protection to the partner of the woman so that she could start living with her.
The petitioner Chinmayee Jena alias Sonu Krishna Jena, who produced a certification of gender dysphoria from a psychiatrist, had filed a habeas corpus application under Article 226 and 227. She claimed that both of them fell in love with each other in 2011 and had been enjoying a consensual relationship since 2017. A joint affidavit on March 17, 2020, submitted before the Court indicated that both had sworn before the Executive Magistrate, Bhubaneswar, declaring that they were staying together in their live-in relationship. Citing the provisions of protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which acknowledges living relationships, Jena pleaded to be reunited with her partner. Further, the Court has also asked the petitioner to allow his partner’s family to visit and communicate with her.
“Law is a reflection of current social values or norms. Social norms undergo changes with time and law keeps abreast with the same. Courts recognize these changes and rule on the same”, the divisional bench remarked.