In September of this year, a few weeks after the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised the part of Section 377 of the IPC which criminalised the physical act of love for LGBTQ+ people, the Kerala High Court strongly came out in support of a lesbian couple and allowed them to live together.
According to a detailed report in The News Minute, Riju (name changed) and Maya (name changed) had met on a dating app and the latter had moved out of her parents’ home to live with the former. A police complaint under Section 57 of the Kerala Police Act had been filed by Maya’s parents following which she was arrested and brought back home.
The news website further reports that the Judicial First Class Magistrate-II, Neyyattinkara set her free but her parents forcibly took her away and admitted her into a mental hospital. This is when Riju took charge and moved the High Court.
On deciding whether a same-sex couple can live together, the Kerala HC referred to the Navtej Singh Johar case and quoted from that hearing: “Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality. The veil of social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual, for the foundation of constitutional morality rests upon the recognition of diversity that pervades society.”
Saurav Dutta writing for the TNM also writes that in order to decide “whether the liberty of a woman who has attained majority and can arrive at her own decisions, be curtailed by her parents”, the court referred to the SC ruling in the Nandakumar case of April 2018 wherein it was decided that a couple can live together even if they aren’t legally allowed to be married yet.