A Live-relationship, that is living together as a couple without being
married to each other in a fairly acceptable way, is considered taboo in India.
But lately, similar connections are being decreasingly common due to a variety
of reasons. In absence of any specific legislation, rules, or customs on the
subject, the Supreme Court has issued certain guidelines in its judgment for
regulating similar connections.
This composition tries to figure out the current legal positions governing
live-in connections in India after making a systemic assessment of these
judgments. A live-in relationship between two subscribing grown-ups isn't
considered illegal and if the couple presents themselves to society as husband
and wife and live together for a significant period, the relationship is a
relationship "like marriage" under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act,
Accordingly, the womanish mate is entitled to claim alimony under its vittles.
Children born out of similar connections are considered licit and entitled to
get a share in the tone- acquired property of their parents, though they aren't
entitled to a coparcenary share in the Hindu concentrated family property.
Live-in connections may enable the couple to know each other better, but such a
no-strings-attached relationship has its disadvantages as well.
The couple faces multiple social and logistical problems in day-to-day living.
From the internal health point of view, it's considered better to be engaged in
a good-quality relationship than to live alone and have no relation at all.
Meaning Of Live-In Relationship
Live- by-relationship is purely an arrangement between parties; formerly a party
to a live- in- relationship determines that he or she does not wish to live in
such a relationship, and that relationship comes to an end. Hence, it's called a
walk-in and walk-out relationship. Live-by-relationship is neither crime.
In a live-in relationship, an unattached couple commits to each other in a
romantic relationship and decides to live together with physical, emotional, and
indeed sexual commitment but no legal commitment. The mates that choose to live
together are called lodging or live-in partners.
Though cohabiting couples aren't fairly wedded, they partake in domestic duties
and arrears. In case they fall out of love, they move on without the legal drama
of divorce. There are several reasons people decide to live together rather than
get wedded. Some want to have a single status ever, some want to check harmony
before tying the knot. Others are just married formerly and can't marry another
person fairly this is the usual case in polyamorous connections.
Forms Of Live-In Relationship
Live-in relationships may be roughly classified into three basic groups:
- Live-In Relationship Between Unmarried Couples
- Live-In Relationship Between Same-Sex Couples
- Live-In Relationship Between Adults In Which One Or Both Are Married
Pros Of Live-In Relationship
Test CompatibilityWhen a person starts living with another person24/7, both people get to know
each other. They can know habits of each other and figure out if they can stay
in a relationship or marriage with each other or not. However, they can fluently
move on from that relationship, If the couple after staying in a loving
relationship for a couple of months and decide that they aren't compatible with
Legal ObligationsLive-in connections are generally free of legal scores of any kind. However, you
can fluently walk out of the relationship and there will be no legal importunity
like divorce form, etc, If you aren't happy with your mate and you feel that
there's no compass of enhancement. People find it easier to go through heartache
but it's veritably delicate to face the social smirch of divorce. Living
provides emotional stability person which is veritably important.
Equality And Mutual UnderstandingPeople in live-in connections are veritably practical in approach and they feel
that they're both inversely responsible parties to the relationship. Also, both
aren't dependent on each other financially, emotionally, or fairly since the
door out of the relationship is always open, both mates make redundant trouble
to show their fidelity and fidelity in the relationship to make it more secure.
Cons Of Live-In Relationship
Non-Acceptance In SocietyThis is a fact that society, especially in India, is still reluctant of
accepting similar relationships and it becomes hard for the live-in couple to
survive in a society where they aren't accepted.
Lack Of Commitments In this relationship, there's veritably less or zero probability of commitment
and if they're married, also there's a possibility of walking out of the
Lack The Respect And Stability Of Marriage
People frequently warrant trust in the institution of marriage and therefore
feel that living in a relationship is an easier way to come out. They don't see
the stability marriage can bring in their lives. particular and fiscal freedom
has made them so selfish that they don't want to take the burden of marriage.
Right Of Children Born In Live-In Relationship
Children born in live-in relations have 4 rights:
LegitimacyIn the case of SPS Balasubramanyam Sruttayan, the SC had said:
"If a man and
woman are living under the same roof and lodging for some time, there will be a
presumption under Section 114 of the substantiation Act that they live as hubby
and woman and the children born to them won't be illegitimate."
This was a
corner case wherein the apex court for the first time upheld the legality of the
children born out of a live-in relationship. The court interpreted the enactment
of such a child to be in concurrence with Composition 39(f) of the Constitution
of India which lays down the responsibility of the State to give the children an
acceptable occasion to develop in a normal manner and guard their interests.
In the ultramodern days, cases like Tulsi v D have held that a child born from
such a relationship will no more be considered an illegitimate child. The
pivotal condition for a child born out of a live-in relationship to be not
treated as illegitimate is that the parents must have lived under one roof and
habited for a significantly long time for society to fete them as hubby and
woman and it shouldn't be a " walk in and walk out " relationship, as the
Supreme Court has refocused out in its 2010 judgment of Madan Mohan Singh and
Ors v Rajni Kant & Anr.
The Courts in India have continued to support this
interpretation of the law in a manner to insure that no child is "demoralized"
for no fault of his/ her own as has been seen in the case of Bharata Mattha &
Ors. V.R. Vijaya Ranganathan & Ors. In this case, the Supreme Court had held
that a child born out of a live-in relationship may be allowed to succeed in the
heritage of the property of the parents (if any) and latterly be given legality
in the eyes of the law.
MaintenanceThe felonious law through section 125, also provides that through the order of
an applicable judge, a person can be held liable to pay for the conservation of
the woman, children both licit as well as illegitimate, and the parents.
The denial of furnishing conservation to a child born out of a live-in
relationship can also be challenged under Composition 32 of the Constitution of
India amounting to a violation of the abecedarian rights guarantees under
Composition 21 which provides for the Right to Life and particular Liberty. Such
a denial can deprive an existent of his/ her right to lead his/ her life with
quality, and this has been upheld by the Kerala High Court in PV Susheela v
The unstable treatment of a child born out of a live-in relationship and a child
born out of a connubial relationship indeed though both are perceived as licit
in the eyes of law can amount to a violation of Composition 14 which promises
Equality before Law.
PropertyThe issue of property or heritage rights has been dealt with in a veritably
vague manner in the Hindu marriage act when it comes to the position of
illegitimate children or children born out of connubiality. Due to this a lot of
contradicting judgments and legal complications have risen.
It's batted that the intention was to no way to marry also how can the children
born from a live-in relationship be given the status of legal heirs at law and
therefore, these children mustn't be handed any heritage rights?
Still, it's the responsibility of the courts to not look at the weal of a
particular person or a particular family but for the benefit of the entire
society. therefore, the courts through their vested authority have expanded the
perspective of these laws to bring vulnerable children into the dimension of law
to make sure that the miscalculations of their parents don't bring them under
The intention of the HMA, 1955 concerning Section 16 and the posterior
correction barring the distinction between children born out of valid/ void/
voidable marriages is to bring about social reforms and conferment of the social
status of legality on innocent children which would be undermined by assessing
restrictions on rights guaranteed under the said section.
Laws Related To Live-In Relationships
Article 21Article 21 of the Indian Constitution safeguards the basic right to life and
personal liberty, and it has been decided by various Supreme Court judgments
like S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal and Anr (2010) that the right to life and
personal liberty includes the right to cohabit without interruption.
The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows a woman to seek conservation
from her partner if he refuses to support her. However, she's eligible to admit
conservation from that man because the court can make the supposition that such
a relationship is a marriage and the woman is considered to be a woman If a
woman is suitable to form a marriage- suchlike connection.
pretensions of including live-in connections under the horizon of Section 125
are to guard women against domestic violence and to increase the legal threshold
for mates in live-in connections to the position of marriage. The Supreme Court
expanded on this precedent from the guidelines of the Malimath commission
appointed by the Home Ministry. The commission was chaired by Justice Malimath
to make recommendations on the forenamed proposition.
The Committee submitted its findings in 2009, proposing that the description of
alimony/ conservation under Section 125 be modified to enable women to gain it.
As a result, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Abhijit Bhikaseth Autiv.
State of Maharashtra and Anr
(2009), that a woman isn't needed to prove marriage
to seek conservation under Section 125 of the CrPC, meaning that a woman in a
live-in relationship is also entitled to conservation. This decision
demonstrates our bar's liberal and contemporary station.
Badri Prasad Vs Dy Of Consolidation (1978)This case is an important bone. This case is the first case where the Supreme
Court of India honored the conception of a live-in relationship. The case deals
with a couple who stayed together 50 times.
An adventurist in this case
challenged the factum of the marriage between the couples by filling a special
leave solicitation that had been proved negative in the high court. The issue
involved in this case was whether a couple living together for a long period can
be considered a valid marriage. And whether the burden of evidence lies on the
couple to prove that they've lived together for a reasonable time.
The Supreme Court in this case rejected the special leave solicitation brought
up by the supplicant. This was the first ever case where the Apex court of India
had honored the conception of living in a relationship as valid.
The court held
that a strong presumption arises in favor of the connubiality that the mates
have lived together for a long spell as hubby and woman. Section 114 of the
substantiation act states that when a man and a woman stay together several
times as a couple, it's assumed and interpreted to be a marriage. This
particular presumption is rebuttable and the burden of evidence lies on the
person who tries to deprive the relationship of its legal origin.
S. Khushboo Vs Kanniammal And Anr (2010)The case deals with the reflections made by the Appellant relating to the adding
frequentness of adulterous coitus, especially in the environment of live-in
connections in the magazine India Today and in another journal Dhina Thanthi.
The issue raised in the case was whether the Appellant's reflections quantum to
vilification under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Counsel for the
Appellant put forward some really strong points about how the Appellant had a
right to freedom of speech and expression and that the replies weren't the
displeased persons in the case as per the meaning of 'displeased persons' given
in section 199(1) of their PC. The Court observed that the Appellant had only
appertained to the adding frequentness of adulterous coitus and live-in
Therefore, it cannot be claimed that the statements made by the
Appellant were like stag dispatches. The Supreme Court quashed the complaints
against the Appellant. The Top Court also held that live-in connections come
under the dimension of the right to life under Composition 21 of the
Constitution of India.
It further stated that live-in connections are admissible
and aren't illegal or unlawful. In this case, the Apex Court placed reliance on
its earlier decision in Lata Singh v/ s State of UP and held that a live-in
relationship is admissible only in unattached major persons and isn't a
felonious offense under any law.
Lata Singh Vs State Of Uttar Pradesh (2006)The petitioner Lata Singh, a youthful woman of age 27 times i.e., major. She has
completed her scale and was pursuing her masters in Hindi at Lucknow University.
Due to the unforeseen demise of her parents, she used to live with her family
Ajay Pratap Singh in Lucknow only.
Lata left her family's home on 02/11/2000;
freely wedded to one Brahma Nand Gupta at Arya Samaj Mandir. They indeed had a
child out of this connubiality. After two days of marriage, her family lodged a
missing person report near a police station. Due to this, police arrested two
sisters of the petitioner's hubby named Mamta Gupta and Sangita Gupta along with
one of the hubbies of the sisters i.e., Rakesh Gupta (hubby of Mamta Gupta).
The supplicant contended that her sisters were furious about the marriage
because it was an inter-caste marriage. To take vengeance for that they went to
hubby's paternal home and beat the family members. They indeed locked many
members for a couple of days without any mess or water.
The family's of the
petitioner also lodged a false complaint about abducting his youngish family who
isn't mentally fit to get married by herself. They wearied the family in every
possible way. Indeed, hovered over the husband's family to kill them and her
husband; they indeed said that they will kill their own family for committing
this sin of inter-caste marriage.
The supplicant on the other hand was running from post to pillar to save her
hubby and his cousins. Petitioner's sisters of a felonious bent. National Human
Rights Commission and State Women Commission interposed in the case to help her.
They helped her to present the matter before the Supreme Court of India. The
cousins of her hubby got out of jail due to her efforts.
The Court granted police protection to the supplicant, her husband, and his
family stating that she has a right to choose her life mate. The Court in its
judgment made it clear that no one should be set up infringing the authorities,
if that happens, strict action as per the law will be taken against them.
Court also directed proceedings against the supplicant's sisters to be
introduced by the concerned authorities. The felonious proceedings against the
supplicant's husband and his family were quashed. The Court also stated that
there isn't a bar on inter-caste marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act and the
Petitioner was free to live and to marry the person of her choice. This judgment
made it clear that a woman has a right to choose her life- mate and marrying
outside the estate isn't a crime.
Abhishek Chouhan Vs State Of Madhya Pradesh (2022)In the case of Abhishek Chouhan. Madhya Pradesh State (2022), the Madhya Pradesh
High Court described live-by connections as a by-product of the indigenous
provision guaranteed under Composition 21 of the Constitution, observing that
similar connections foster sexual exertion and lascivious geste, giving rise to
The Court concluded that, with some rejections, India has a conservative culture
that has not yet achieved such an advanced position of civilization where
unattached girls, irrespective of their religion, share in lascivious
conditioning with boys only for the entertainment, unless supported by a certain
unborn pledge of marriage, and that, to confirm her point, a victim shouldn't be
needed to calculate on committing self-murder as in the current case.
Live-in connections aren't considered to be an offense under the law and there
has been no provision so far that prohibits similar kinds of relationships. The
Supreme Court has been progressive in its approach to live-in connections. The
Supreme Court editorialized that 'Living together is a right to live '.
All these judgments are evidence that the Apex Court is conforming to the
changing times. still, it cannot be said about the High Courts. For case, the
Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed many orders which consider live-in
connections to be socially and innocently inferior.
The Court has denied protection to the couple because it would disturb the
social fabric of society. The society too needs to acclimatize an unorthodox
station toward the conception of live-in relationships. still, there needs to be
a fixed law on the rights and commitments of live-in connections. else, people
can take overdue advantage of their mates.
A live-in relationship though recognized by the bar in its colorful judgments,
to some extent, still lacks social acceptance and continues to be impermissible.
It's the choice of a person that should be free from societal pressure. One may
believe in the idea of a holy match but at the same time.
The status of live-in connections in other countries is far more relaxed and
progressive. In Canada, all the live-in couples enjoy the legal saintship if
they've lived together for 12 months or they give birth or borrow a child. This
gives immediate legal status to the relationship and the child thereof.
By all suggestions, we may infer that the notion and legal recognition of a
live-in relationship in our country has only grown through time, with numerous
judgments by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and the High Courts playing the most
important part. Marriage is seen as a spiritual connection that's recognized as
well as largely appreciated in the public sphere. The courts have served as a
controller to remove the taboo in society and allow couples to continue living
peacefully with each other and with equal respect in the community.
In India, there's no specific law for live-in connections. A live-in
relationship, although recognized by the judicial system, lacks artistic
blessing and remains stigmatized. Proper legal enactment is essential to guard
the rights and interests of similar parties. Ultimately, the decision of whether
or not to legalize live-in relationships will depend on a range of factors,
including cultural values, social norms, and political and legal considerations.
It is important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of legalizing such
relationships and to consider the potential impact on individuals, families, and
society as a whole.
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journals, Live-In Relationships in India Legal and Psychological
- Alekhya Sattigeri, Legal status of Live-in Relationships in India:
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- Naveen Talawar, Legal status of live-in relationship in India, https://www.legalbites.in/legal-status-of-live-in-relationship-in-india/?infinitescroll=1
- Vakil Search, Live In Relationship What Does The Indian Law Say?
- Tanvi Chopra, Live-in Relationships Legal or Illegal in India?
- Tripaksha Litigation, Legality of live-in relationship in India,
- Case mines, s khushboo v kanniammal and Anr, https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!
- Lawlex Org, Lata Singh V State of Uttar Pradesh, https://lawlex.org/case-summary/case-summary-lata-singh-v-state-of-uttar-pradesh-2006/26460
- Indian kanoon, Badri Prasad vs Dy. Director Of Consolidation, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/215649/
- Anindita Deb, Abhishek Chouhan v. State of Madhya Pradesh: Court's views
and personal opinions, https://blog.ipleaders.in/abhishek-chouhan-v-state-madhya-pradesh-courts-views-personal-opinions/
- Writing Law, Live-In Relationship In India Is It Allowed By Law?
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Anshika Bansal, 3rd Year - Bharti Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune
Authentication No: MR343337376724-08-0323
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