Live-in Relationship in India

Live in relationship in India is still considered a taboo from a large part of the society. Many people think that living together before marriage is against their custom but in past few years some part of this society has changed because of the way the present generations have perceived their relationship.

The taboo which was there in our society about pre-marital sex and live-in relationships have started to fade away as the time is changing and thinking of people is changing.

A live-in relationship gives the couple a chance to know each other so that they could decide whether they want to continue in this relationship for their life or not without entering into a legal binding relationship and moreover excludes the family drama and lengthy court proceedings when the couple decides to part their ways out.

In the case of Indra Sharma v V.K.V Sharma the honourable Supreme court defined live-in relationship in five distinct ways which was a domestic cohabitation between an adult unmarried male and an adult unmarried female- a simple kind of relationship. Cohabitation between an unmarried adult woman and a married man has unknowingly entered into punishment under the Indian Penal Code. Domestic cohabitation between bisexual partners, which would not lead to marital relations in India as there are no marriage laws against homosexuality.

In many western countries there is a broader understanding of the concept of married couples in a relationship, which is evident in their legal recognition of prenuptial agreements, civil society and the domestic union of couples etc. However, it is not the same in India.

Live- in relations have always been the focus of debates as they pose threats to our basic social structure. It is not considered a crime as there is no law until the day it prohibits this type of relationship. In order to bring justice to those women who are victims of cohabitation relationships the courts of India have taken action, brought interpretations and made such provisions work. However India has not yet officially registered it, being legal means having its own special law. Till date, there is no law or regulation that directly governs matters relating to succession, care, and care in relation to residential relationships.

However, in the Protection of Women in Domestic Violence Act, the 2005 legislature recognized the right of partners living in intimate relationships to receive protection. Recognized social relationships through various judgments so that people in a relationship are protected from abuse.

At the same time, the courts have often refused to do so in favor of legalizing this practice by allowing any compulsory marriage contract to be violated.It ends up being clear that Indian courts are not ready to treat all forms of life-like relationships like marriage. Only the term of the relationship between the parties is provided for in the 2005 Act.

It is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the law must deal with changing social conditions. Although courts through various judgments and laws try to get a clear picture of the nature of marital relations, it remains unclear about various aspects, where there is an urgent need for different laws and regulations and codification in relation to such relationships.

In the author’s view, there should be a separate law dealing with the current issue in order to protect the rights of the people living with them, the children born in that relationship and all those people who may be affected by that relationship should be protected. Not all relationships of this kind should be granted legal status, but only those that meet certain basic needs. At the same time, there should also be information among live in partners regarding the legal consequences of that life plan.

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