The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday ruled that two consenting adults in a relationship had the right to live together without any interference from their families, Bar and Bench reported. The court noted that though live-in relationships are not accepted by the Indian society, they do not amount to any offence under law.

The court’s order was based on a petition filed by a couple seeking protection from harassment by the woman’s family. The petitioners, aged 24 and 28, told the court that they had been living together for six months.

The woman informed the court that her family had been forcing her to marry another man so she went to live with her boyfriend. The couple sought police protection in March but no action was taken on their request.

“It is settled law that where a boy and a girl are major and are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents, has authority to interfere,” the court ruled.

The court noted that even the Supreme Court, in several verdicts, had upheld the right of consenting adults to live together and ruled that the families had no authority to interfere in their living arrangement.

The bench also directed the petitioners to approach the police if they face any trouble and need security. “In case any disturbance is caused in the peaceful living of the petitioners, the petitioners shall approach the Senior Superintendent of Police, Farrukhabad, who shall provide immediate protection to the petitioners,” the court said in its order.