In a landmark ruling, the Madras high court has stated that a man and a woman found inside a locked house cannot be presumed to be involved in an immoral relationship.
As per a report by The Times of India, the ruling came as an armed reserve police constable was subjected to termination of service on the ground of ‘moral turpitude’ because he was found inside a locked room with a woman constable.
While squashing the termination plea, Justice R Suresh Kumar observed, “This kind of presumption prevailing in the society cannot be the basis for initiating disciplinary action and inflicting punishment,".
Shedding light on the past incident the court noted that the accused constable K Saravana Babu was found inside his quarters in the company of a woman constable in the year 1998.
According to Saravana, the woman constable had come to his house while looking for the keys of her house which was located close by, however, when the neighbours knocked at his door, it was found locked leading to the assumption that the duo was engaged in some immoral activity.
Saravana maintains that someone had locked the door from inside while the duo was talking and then pretended to knock at the door.
The high court substantiating the accused’s claim added that “There was absolutely no eyewitness or any other concrete evidence to prove that the two constables were found in a compromising position,".
Earlier in 2019, the Madras high court had also noted that the occupation of a hotel room by such unmarried couples will not attract a criminal offence as it amounts to a live-in relationship.
According to a report by Firstpost, the court made the observations while directing authorities to de-seal a hire service apartment in Coimbatore, which was closed after a police and revenue team conducted a search following complaints of alleged immoral activities and found an unmarried couple and some liquor bottles in a room there in June this year.