Right to stay with wife: a fundamental right?

The Delhi High Court has held that “Family‟, being the natural and fundamental unit of society, is entitled to protection of its integrity against arbitrary interference by the State.”

Hence when a Pakistani woman was residing in India on a long term visa, a notice was served on her to leave India within 15 days from date of receipt. The High court held this impacted the wifes ‘right to life’ under article 21.

The bench said that the single bench has omitted to note that being the mother of two children who are Indian citizens and the wife of an Indian citizen, directing the Pakistani wife to leave the country would break-up the family and would thereby be a serious infraction of the rights of at least three Indian citizens.

The Delhi High Court thus quashed the leave India notice given to the wife of the Indian citizen and ordered the Ministry and authorities to look into her citizenship application in accordance with law. It was held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would include the right of young children to live with their mother and the right of a husband to consortium with his wife.

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