The Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that consenting adults can live together and reunited a same-sex couple who had been separated by their parents, The Indian Express reported.
Justice Vinod Chandran passed the order in response to a petition filed by 22-year-old woman Adila Nazrin. She had told the court that her partner, 23-year-old Fathima Noorah, was forcibly taken away by her family.
In the previous hearing, the judge had directed the police to produce Noorah before the court. On Tuesday, Noorah told the court that she wanted to live with Nazrin, according to Bar and Bench.
The High Court then passed an order allowing the couple to stay together.
However, Nazrin said that they were not “completely free” as both their families are still threatening them after the court order, according to The Quint. She said that Noorah’s parents had earlier said in writing to the High Court that they would allow the couple to live together and not bother them.
“But now we have stepped out of the court, and they are blackmailing us,” she said. “We are afraid that this paper [the letter by Noorah’s parents] won’t be enough to keep us safe.”
Nazrin and Noorah had been friends since their teenage years and had subsequently decided to stay together. The women spoke about their decision to their parents on May 19, but they objected to the relationship, The Quint reported.
The couple then ran away and sought the assistance of Vanaja Collective, an organisation that helps marginalised communities, particularly sexual minorities. The parents reportedly held discussions with the women, convincing the couple to go with them.
“They assured them that they wholeheartedly accept them and that they will ensure the safety of both the girls,” Sulfath A of the Vanaja Collective told The Quint.
However, the organisation claimed that the parents took the couple to the house of Nazrin’s relative. Later, Noorah’s family went to the house and took her away.
Nazrin filed a habeas corpus petition in the High Court on May 27. A habeas corpus petition is generally filed to seek an order for the production of a person in court.