Shift LGBTQ+ couple to safe house, provide security, orders HC
The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the police to shift an LGBTQ+ community couple wanting to get married and facing threats from families, to a safe house set up by the Delhi government and provide them adequate security. It also issued notices to the family members of the couple and listed the matter for further hearing on August 2.
The couple is currently residing in an NGO in Delhi
Justice Mukta Gupta directed the SHO of Mayur Vihar Phase I Police Station to ensure that the couple is taken from a New Delhi-based NGO, where they are currently residing, and lodged at the safe house set up at Sewa Kutir complex in Kingsway Camp.
SC had directed states to set up safe houses
The apex court had in 2018 passed an order to protect couples choosing interfaith or inter-caste marriages after NGO Shakti Vahini filed a petition against honor killings. It had asked states to look into the creation of safe houses for such couples. Following this, a 60sq yard safe house has been set up in Kingsway Camp with two rooms, a toilet, and a kitchen.
Couple came to Delhi after being assaulted by family
Petitioner couple, through Advocate Utkarsh Singh, approached the High Court saying they are major and their relationship is not acceptable to their families as they belong to the LGBTQ+ community. The counsel said the couple was assaulted by their family after which they came to Delhi from Punjab to solemnize their marriage and is presently residing at the office of NGO Dhanak of Humanity.
The Delhi safe house can accommodate three couples seeking protection
On being asked by the court as to where the Delhi government has opened the safe house in compliance with the Supreme Court's order, additional standing counsel for the state Rajesh Mahajan submitted that it has been opened at Sewa Kutir complex in Kingsway Camp. The safe house can accommodate three couples whose relationship is opposed by their families or local community and khaps.