Indian judges back unmarried lovers

NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court has backed the right of unmarried couples to live together as judges heard a case involving an actress accused of corrupting young minds by promoting pre-marital sex.

A three-judge panel sitting in New Delhi pointed out on Tuesday that even Hindu gods Lord Krishna and Radha were co-habiting lovers, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

“When two adult people want to live together, what is the offence?” the judges said. “Living together is not an offence. Living together is a right to life.” Indian actress Khusboo appealed to the court to quash more than 20 cases filed against her in 2005 after she made allegedly immoral comments in magazine interviews.

She told one publication that “no educated man would expect his (bride) to be a virgin” — sparking outrage in parts of southern India, where she is a star of Tamil-language movies.

“We are not bothered. At the most it is a personal view,” the judges said, while reserving judgement on Khusboo’s petition.

They challenged lawyers acting for the complainants to produce evidence of any girl running away from her family with a lover in response to the actress’s comments.

Khusboo, 39, took her legal battle to the Supreme Court after a court in Chennai in 2008 dismissed her plea for quashing the criminal cases filed against her.