Legitimacy of live-in relationship in India
By Bhumica M
REVA University, Bangalore
Live-in relationships per se are not illegal in India. There is no law till now to govern live in relationships in India. also not to forget that there is no law that prohibits this kind of relationship in India. So to decide upon this we need to look into judgements by the Supreme court in a few cases concerning live in relationship.
The concept of live-in hasn’t been issued or any of the said topic related law and amendments hasn’t been issued by the authority, but in certain parts of Gujarat this concept has been recognized in 1993. The Supreme Court in the Malimath Committee, which in its report submitted in 2003 watched that:
“If a man and a lady live together as husband and wife for a sensible long period, the man might be considered to have hitched a woman. The Malimath report had suggested that the word spouse beneath Cr.P.C be revised to include a lady living with the man like his wife so that indeed a lady having live-in relationship with a man would too be entitled to alimony.
Talking about the security of ladies from the Domestic Viciousness Act, 2005 may be an enactment enacted for the reason of assurance of ladies from domestic violence and incorporating live-in connection within the ambit of residential relationship as characterized in Area 2(f) which peruses as follows. “Household relationship means relationship between two people who live or have, at any point of time, live together in a shared or household, when they are related by relationship, marriage or through a relationship within the nature of marriage.
In Tulsi & Ors v. Durghatiya & Ors, the SC observed that a man and a lady who is involved in a live-in relationship for a longer time would be considered a married couple and their child would be legitimate.
The Indian viewpoint in Khushboo v. Kanniammal and anr., the SC opined that a man and woman living together with-it marriage cannot be constructed as an offence. The SC said that there was no law disallowing live-in or premarital sex. “Living together may be a right to live” the SC said, clearly alluding to Article 21 of the Structure of India which ensures right to life and individual liberty as an essential right.
The SC within the case of Bharatha Marha & anr. V. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors. Held that a child born out of a live-in isn’t entitled to claim legacy in Hindu ancestral coparcenary and can only claim a share within the parent’s self – acquired property.
As there is no perfect definition of live-in in the same way there is no particular law made for it. To correctly support such a relationship is by certain acts and also by the facts of cases. Though the common man is still reluctant in tolerating this kind of relationship, the Assurance of ladies from domestic violence act gives for the assurance and support in this manner allowing the proper provision of a wronged live-in relationship.