KATHMANDU – Continuing its tradition of passing liberal judgements regarding the rights of sexual minorities, Nepal’s Supreme Court has recognised a live-in relationship between two lesbians despite the efforts of the family of one of the women to separate them.
In a landmark judgement on Monday, the Court allowed Rajani Shahi to live with her lover as she wished, rather than with her husband, human rights lawyer involved in the case Hari Phuyal said Tuesday.
Shahi, a married woman with a 11-year-old daughter, has been living with Prem Kumari Nepali, after meeting her two years ago. Shahi had sought divorce from her husband. But Shahi’s husband’s and her own family tried to separate them several times and sent her to a rehabilitation centre to change her sexual orientation after she declared that she was a lesbian.
Although the agreement, mediated by the National Women’s Commission, was to try to change her sexual orientation for 45 days, her family did not let her meet her lover Nepali after this period was over, according to Phuyal.
Nepali then filed a habeas corpus case in the Supreme Court following which the ruling came. Shahi appeared in the court on Monday and told the judge that she wanted to go with her lover Nepali rather than her husband.
The whereabouts of the couple is not known because of fears that they may be separated again.