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Live-In Relationship Or Pseudo Marriage

When you read this topic you might think this is something that is considered a bad practice in India, it is ethically and morally wrong to be in a live-in relationship,  and you might also think that the live-in relationship is not legally acknowledged by India. Some people think living relationship is not something which represents the culture of our nation, the wide, beautiful .diverse culture of India, and not a single culture promotes living in a relationship or treats living in a relationship as a normal practice.

"MARRIAGE" according to Indians and the rich culture of India, marriage is a "sacred institution between a man and woman", if both men and women want to live together apparently they have to get married with all the unnecessary rituals and then the couple can live peacefully together.

We are living in the 21st century, the world is moving forward at a very fast speed, where people are now finally coming out of their closet,people are talking about the right of prostitutes, people are talking about the right to life and removing the death penalty, people are talking about crypto laws, people are talking about privacy as a fundamental right and the list goes on, it's very sad to notice that we are moving at a very fast speed in modernizing the country, yet there are no steps taken to change the stereotype, the prejudices, the so-called old customs which are not at all in line with today's world.

Let's talk about sati pratha, wasn't it a tradition in India, when a man dies,his wife also has to die the idea behind this was if a man dies then his wife is alone, apparently she has no one in this world to support her, and because the breadwinner of her family dies she also has to sacrifice herself, but thankfully this tradition was abolished and now all the widows are living there life normally like a non married women. If a custom like sati pratha can be abolished, people can be made aware that this custom is not at all beneficial in any way why can't we do the same with the concept of a live-in relationship.

If a couple wants to live together without marriage or what people call a sacred institution why can't they do that? Living in a relationship is considered a crime,sin, it is unacceptable in our society to be in a live-in relationship. In a country where marriages are considered as a bond of seven lives, talking about live-in relationships is not a common practice and people are far away from talking about legalizing live in relationship, even though in India live in relationships are legalised and are acknowledged in courts of law,but the reality is very different.Every person needs basic necessities in life which are -house, clothes, food etc.

When talking about finding a house for a couple in a live in relationship, it's a very difficult task altogether, because of the traditional thoughts incorporated in the minds of people, people think live in relationship is a disgrace to the society and hence they end up not giving flats to the couple who want to live together.

Article 21 -Right to life and liberty talks about every person having a right to life with basic necessities being fulfilled.Fundamental rights are not absolute and hence there can be restrictions,but is this restriction of not giving a couple, flat just because they are in live in relationship legal,  the answer is" NO',if two people who are in love with each other, they respect each other and want to live together under a same roof but do not want to get married, there is no harm to the society by these individual.

If a person has a right to choose his /her spouse after attaining a certain age, why can't a person of the same age decide not to marry but live together.Marriage is not only a institution it is a very big commitment which both the people follow throughout there marriage life.Every religion has its own custom while doing the rituals of marriage but when it comes to the basic concept of marriage every religion is same and the concept is the husband and wife giving commitment to eachother and being partners throughout there life.

Why Reality Is Far Away From The Documents?
In a country like India where even divorce is considered to be a bad practice .yes people are of the opinion that marriage should not be broken and this is evidently seen when the courts order the couple a 6 months waiting period before them to think twice about there decision .why is this considered as a good practice, by doing this courts are acknowledging the stereotype of marriages and encouraging a custom which is not at all in synergy with the developing world, if two people living together wants to get separated because of there own personal reason, the courts should not force the people to live together again, the divorce rate in India is very low as compared to other countries.

Does it mean it is a good sign, the answer is no, because eventhough the divorce rate is not very good in our country but the rate of domestic violence in a marriages are on a very high scale. Domestic violence is made a crime in India.Domestic violence act 2005 not which was made to protect the women from there abusive partners, this law is not only applicable to the married women but it is also applicable for a women living in a live-in relationship, this was a step which was very much appreciated by the women of the country, but once again the reality is very much different.

Because of the society and the so called immorality the society talks about the women in live in relationship thinking that they are committing a sin do not register the complain even if there partner is being abusive, another reality check is the process of registering the case and the people involved in it are also responsible for the society treating the people living in live-in relationship in India.

The concept of live in relationship is not expressedly recognised by the legislature and the reason for that is the same a that the people in legislature also do are the part of society which thinks that the practice of live in relationship hurts the sentiment and so called values of the society we are living in, thankfully the courts in India time and again while discussing morality from law have upheld the validity of such relationships keeping in mind the constitutional principles.

The great legal philosopher HL Hart while countering the argument of john Austin said that "law is not connected to morality or coercion always". So we can say that its not necessary for a law to be moral in the eyes of society. Recently the adultery is decriminalized section 497 of the IPC is being decriminalized but does it mean that the law is promoting adultery or is adultery now going to be treated morally right the answer is no, so morality and law does not go hand in hand and just because a certain people of society treats it as immoral doesn't mean that the law is not beneficial to the society.

Similarly society needs to take a step ahead and proactively act on such a sensitive topic around them. The judiciary on the other hand has on time and time proved that the law is far away from the stereotypes and prejudices, in the landmark case of

S Khushboo.Kanniammal (2010) 5SCC 600, the supreme court of India held that living relationship comes within the ambit of right to life under article 21 of the constitution of India. The court further held that live in relationship are permissible and the act of two major living together can not be considered illegal or unlawful. The court of justice made itself very clear that live-in relationship is not something which is illegal perse and it comes under the basic fundamental right.yet another example where the judiciary proved itself to be faraway from the taboo of living relationship.

In Lata Singh Vs State Of UP & Anr (AIR 2006 SC 2522) -the supreme court of India observed that the live in relationship between two consenting adults of heterogenic sex does not amount to any offence eventhough it may be perceived as immoral. In Madan Mohan Singh V Rajnikant (2010) 9 SSC 209 - the supreme court held that the live-in relationship if continued for long time,cannot be termed as a" walk in" and "walk out" relationship and there is a presumption of marriage between the parties.By this approach of the court it can clearly be inferred that the courts are in favour of treating long term relationship as pseudo marriage rather than making a new concept of live in relationship.

The Criteria For Being In A Legalised Live-In Relationship
To get recognized as a" nature of marriage" certain conditions are needed to be fulfilled, the conditions were set by the supreme court in D Velusamy And D Patchaimal (5SCC 600):
  • The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to the spouses
  • They must be of legal age to marry
  • They must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period.
So it clearly indicates that the concept of "Live-in relationship "is not at all accepted in the minds of people as well as the judiciary itself.yes judiciary has taken some measures to prove that the live-in relationship is legalised but the judiciary is not willing to take Live in relationship as a new concept, they are making this as a Pseudo marriage.

To maintain the pace at with the society is going on or to maintain stability in the norms of society or preserving the so called values of the society the Indian judiciary system is lacking in knowing the position at which they are placed on, people from each and every part of India expect judiciary as there protector of rights, whenever a person's right is violated, the first thought which comes in mind of people is, that okay there is 3rd pillar of democracy the "judiciary " which will definitely help them in getting those rights back, but in the present scenario of live-in relationship the judiciary is not standing up to the expectations of the people.

Indeed making live-in relationship legal is a very good step but syncing it with a process of marriage, making criteria for a live in couple to be treated as live-in couple is not a step towards giving freedom to people .Infact in a country like India where census is conducted every 10 years,there is no mention of count of live-in couples in the official data of census,so how can we know about the data related to the couples, if there is no data per se on them, how would we know the true status of the people living in live-in relationship.

This is where the government is lacking, in a democratic form of government the government is suppose to be working for the people of the country, making swelfare schemes .making different policies to help the people who are in need, to make a country with people being satisfied by the workings of the government, but time and again when it comes to introducing a new concept to the people or breaking a so called old customs and values, the government has shown that it is not willing to do something out of the box which might result in harming the peace and tranquility of the nation.

In the country where marital rape is still not consider as rape because of a very" logical reason "according to some people that marriage is a sacred institution and a husband committing rape on her wife is not rape,  it's the physical relationship between the men and women where the laws should not interfere basically (gharelu -mamla),in a country where still people are afraid to come out of there closet, in a country where there are no laws on privacy of an individual, the list can go on and on.

India is moving far forward in terms of technological development, India's service sector,the manufacturing sector all are doing very [i]well when it comes to comparing it with other developing countries the GDP of our country is at a recovering level but does this all mean that the people living in the country are happy. For evidence have a look at the happiness index 2022, it is very surprising to notice, India is ranked below many developing and under developed countries,  the rank of India -139 out of 149 countries, Finland topped the index. What makes Finland the happiest ? It is the freedom which is given to the people of Finland which makes the citizen happy in there country.

India should encourage more initiative such as Domestic violence act2005 where the wife as well as couple living in live in relationship both can equally file a case if suffering from domestic violence in there relationship .The time has come that India needs to modernise in terms of thoughts, breaking the stereotypes, people need to understand that there difference between spoiling culture and giving freedom to the youth of the country, its not 19th century where the freedom of youngsters can be curtailed in the name of preserving culture and customs.

Yes culture and customs should be preserved and the future generation should be aware about the same, but this does not mean that they should be forced to follow the same, culture and custom should be subjective to individual and it should be according to the individual whether they are willing to follow the culture and custom or not, forcing them to follow restrict there freedom and at the same time the beauty of the culture also detoriates because culture, custom and tradition are such beautiful aspect of life which should come from within the individual and not because a person is forced.

Live-in relationship should not be treated as taboo and the society should grow at a pace with the moving world and needs to understand that if a couple wants to live together without getting the recognition of them being married or without any other marriage ritual is normal and it should not be treated as a taboo, or a sin, or a crime.

Definition of law as per Aristotle is � Human beings can not live in isolation, and therefore they interact, when they interact there occurs conflicts and to resolve the conflict law is required. If we look upto this definition it clearly fits the situation of couple living in live-in relationship, there rights are being violated but there is no law to resolve the conflict of the same, this is where the judiciary, the media, the legislature every pillar of democracy should stand up and work for the betterment of the society.

Thanks to the judiciary for atleast taking some steps to cover the vacuum and filling up the vaccum. Media is trying to make live-in relationship normal, look at the ott platforms and the series they are coming up with one of the best series with such good and heart touching stories-"little things" a story about a couple living in live in relationship and how beautifully it is being potrayed that relationship is such a beautiful part of anyone's life and marriage is just a last step to complete that relationship but that doesn mean that it's a necessary aspect for everyone's life.

Recently there was a couple who has been living in live-in relationship for 40 years now and the court of justice has recognised this relationship legal."Live and let live "-society should accept the individual as they are and not how society expects the individual to be.


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