Law and society have been working hand in hand for the betterment of the
individual. Law has been playing the vital role in the changing the society
through its rules and regulations. In Asian countries the concept of wedding has
been given the at most importance and has been about the religious ritual.
Marriage has been protected by keeping the foundation of marriage strong. As in
some areas change is prevailing so the law also has to change keeping in view
the societal and constitutional values.
Marriage is a social union or a legal contract between people that creates
kinship. The concept of live-in relationship it isn’t new to the society but the
problem with the people is they are hesitating to reveal or to speak frankly
about their status or live-in relationship to the society. But talking about the
western culture this concept is not new for them.
The thinking of the society
heads in a direction that whether welcoming the concept of live-in relationship
will directly or indirectly invite the pre-marital sexual relationships? in fact
they will consider as a sin. The benefits in a legal that are arising out of
marriage tends to encourage the couple to enter into formal commitments to
assume family responsibilities.
Live-in relationship is a very sensitive issue. It has its pros and cons for
example education barriers, radical changes in thinking of women etc. Sometimes
it might happen that the issue or the relationship isn’t taken seriously by one
of the partners then the issue arising out of it becomes difficult to handle and
then the directly or indirectly parents has to suffer.
Conceptual Understanding of term Live-in Relationship Meaning & Definition
Live-in Relationship is a type of course or arrangement between the 2 people who
decide to live together permently and support them emotionally and physically.
In short Live-in Relationship is connected to the couples who are connected, but
not hitched. The legitimate definition of Live-in Relationship is “a course of
action of living together beneath one roof where the couples is single to
conduct a lone-going relationship additionally as in marriage.
While passing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 the
Parliament has taken notice of this new relationship, that is, live-in
relationship”. It is a threat to an institution of marriage. Live-in
relationship is said to be the mockery in the institution of marriage. The
question in the mind of the society is that whether the girl and a boy having
one-night stand, living together for a day, a week or a month, what stands or
amounts to live-in relationship?
The Privy Committee in A. Dinohamy v. W.L
laid down the guideline that:
Where a man and a lady are demonstrated
to have lived together as a man and a spouse, the law will assume, unless the
opposite be clearly demonstrated, that they were living together in result of a
substantial marriage and not in state of concubiage.1 It is said that India has
not developed that they involve themselves in this concept, they would face
It is clear that the people who are scared of the marriages because of
whatsoever reason, they tend to accept the live-in relationship, it gives rise
to various social, economic and legal issues.
Reasons and Growth of Live-in Relationship
The first and foremost advantage of live-in relationship in comparison to
marriage is that it is wholly secular. Marriage has been secular over the time,
marriage is the identity that is legal and social institution that is
inseparable. The difference between the marriage and live-in relationship is
very complex it’s like the spider web, web of social norms and legal
Another important component that leads to the advantage to the marriage is that
the rights and obligations that leads to the marriage, laws related or made for
the marriage purpose and the financial position to the independent family
members. Marriage may be a scarred foundation between a individual and a woman
and pledged to undertake and do no matter was legitimately essential to guard
the scaredness of the wedding.
For years traditional Indian society did not
accept the term live-in relationship as it the cohabitation of men and women
without entering into any formal agreement or say it is against the law. Besides
now a days woman being financially independent, so the status and the clarity
developed among the woman in terms of live-in relationship.
In Malti v. State of U.P
. the Allahabad High Court held that a woman living
with a man could not be equated as his “wife”. In this case, the woman was a
cook in the man’s house and she stayed with him and shared an intimate
relationship. The Court, however refused to extend the meaning of the word
“wife” as denoted in Section 125 of Cr.P.c to include such a live-in partner’s
Intercaste marriages, failure of marriages, higher studies, global world has
been the growing reason for live-in relationship. The conventional Indian
society has been disliked the concept of live-in relationship for such known
reason which I have mentioned above. Other than, on the off chance that a lady
was fiscally subordinate on man, the flimsiness of such relationship made a
subservient status for a lady. According to the law, man having a living spouse
is a complete nullity in the eye of law and she is not entitled to the benefit
of Sec125 of the Code. The law will not give any recognition to that they lived
together even if their marriage was void.
However, the courts did not recognize live-in relationship as independent of the
institution of marriage, that is the presumption of marriage was a key element.
Presently indeed nation like bounded by endless social morals and ceremonies,
the law finds legitimately nothing off-base in live-in relations. It can’t be
said that law advances such connections.
The essential arrange of living together or conducting a live-in relationship is
that the interested couples got to check their compatibility for each diverse
sometime recently going for a number of commitments; the other reasons are a few
budgetary concerns or homosexuality.
Structure and Evolution
There have been lots of confusion because the term of live-in relationship does
vary from person to person. There have been cases or issues where a man and a
woman live for a week, month or a year and after their separation can woman ask
for maintenance? then the court should say that walk in and walk out does not
amount to type of live-in relationship.
Live-in relationship that is describes in Webster dictionary is:
arrangement in which unmarried couples live together in a long-term relationship
is resembles as marriage” Here couples become weak when any one of them exits
this relationship because both of them are emotionally, financially and
physically connected. As marriage has a risk of divorce in the same way live-in
has risk of separation. Live-in is referred to the couple who is living under
one roof without legally married.
Nowadays even though live-in has emerged
slowly in India but there are people who also count these as a taboo because for
them it the dilution of morals and ethics. But nowadays talking about marriage
the present position of marriage is not that much in good condition the rates or
the percentage of divorce is increasing and the reason for divorce is even
Now in the 20th century there are certain changes which the society has
experienced, in each and every field we see the change and the change are far
more high expectations as compared to Indian Sociologist and Anthropologists.
The newly concept of live-in relationship emerged from the field of
entertainment, movie, media, modelling, but talking about the middle and lower
class of the people majority of that class haven’t accepted this concept
completely nor they adopt this type of culture.
Today or Tomorrow live-in relationship will be accepted by the people of India
and live-in relationship will co-exist with legal marriage.
Now if we see that India is accepting the culture, ideas, lifestyle of Western
states slowly and gradually for example the concept of live-in relation. The
marriage in our Hindu term and also in the law has given the immense position
and respect, keeping in mind that some of the citizens of India has accepted the
concept of live-in. According to Manu, premarital relationship exists in Vedic
period and after that but just it was a rare occurrence.
The concept of live-in
do existed long time ago, it was called maitri karar in that it was the contract
between the two sex that they will live together as a friend and will look after
each other. But even though most of the people has started accepting the concept
of live-in relationship but a strict legislation or law to be amended for this
for the rights and obligations of the partners and no one would be exploited.
Some of the people thinks that why do couples choose to be in live-in which is
not even legally valid rather than being legally wedded couple would be more
peaceful, but there are certain reasons because of which they decide to be in
live-in: - Lifestyle, Economic Independence, Urbanizations, Social hurdles.
In Maharashtra, the question was raised of live-in and the couple accepting the
trend of live-in and reasons to it. Marriage or live-in relationship is a
concern for the individuals and role of society is to be least democratic set up
in India where we guarantee certain freedoms to individuals and freedom to
choose their partner.
Impact of live-in Relationship in India
In India now gradually door are opening for western culture and ideas and
especially the concept of live-in. We can see that the people slowly accepting
the trend or the concept of live-in, but an era or two it was the situation that
live-in is meant very bad by the people of India, but now it has started to
change and the couples has started to adopt the trend. Some people are but on
the other hand some of them find it difficult because they are assaulted by
their own family members and the society.
In few places or circumstances, unmarried partners can share an approach and get
certain legal protection; while in other circumstances they are considered as
legal strangers with no rights. The plus point of the live-in is that before
they come to an decision to make an life time commitment, they live together
check whether they are compatible with each other or they can handle every
situation together and on the basis of the time spent together they come to the
decisions. However, some couples too might live-in together if they choose not
to induce hitched or they figure out that in due course they cannot wed each
The benefits of the marriage come with lot of responsibilities. The obligations
towards each other, towards family, children and towards the marital house. The
alternative or the temporary way to avoid this tradition is to enjoy the
cohabiting together, the concept of live-in. Somewhat the concept of live-in is
not new into the society, the only thing was that earlier people were hesitating
in declaring their result due to fear of the society. India is still a
Pros and Cons of Live-in Relationship
If you are arranging to move in together with your accomplice any time before
long, at that point here are some masters and cons you will need to consider.
- Marriage could be the choice of both of them and for marriage commitment is
needed from both the sides. But talking about live-in relationship break up tend
to be less.
- In live-in we get sufficient time to know each other before getting hitched or
heading for breakup before without any advance expectations
- Rise in terms of security and flexibility. In live-in the doors are open and no
legal process to be done and so no commitment issues.
- This concept is still unthinkable, particularly by the elder people.
- Ladies suffer the most, society and people puts a character question on the
girls first, it’s the rule of the society
- Sometimes couples discover it troublesome to bear the duties that a marriage
Law and Live-in Relationship
Live-in Relationship – Changing texture of Indian Society
Society has invited the change and on the other hand we have forced fully
adjusted in our society. Number of couples live together without certificate of
marriage, but nowadays the couple or the people of the society have fully
accepted the concept without caring the world around them. Even now this concept
of live-in have introduced in the cinema halls for example the movie like Salaam
Namaste, Luka Chuppi, Shudh Desi Romance such movies have shown the concept of
live-in relationship which exposed this kind of living in the society.
There are certain advantages of live-in relationship, now the scenario of
couples is that if they are not able to adjust or because of small fight or
argument with the family they decide to divorce. The rate or the percentage of
divorce in India is increasing day by day and the reasons behind it are very
Looking the present situation and the cases of divorce it is better to
enter into live-in by which they can understand each other very well, they will
come to know the expense of each other and the strength to handle the hard
times, after certain period of being in live-in then the couple can come to a
conclusion that now we should get legally married or not.
The latter Supreme
Court explained that live-in is not an offence, has made the validity of such
couple a little better. Metropolitan cities and the taught course of our country
has grasped this alter but such relationship have continuously come beneath the
examination of an ethical brigade which clears out stone unturned to form them
feel unwanted and unaccepted.
But the talks continued about the legalization of live-in relationship in our
nation have brought many hostile to bunches, extremely dissenting against such a
stand. Years ago when South Indian actress Khushboo commented in favor of
pre-conjugal sex there were 22 cases registered against her. But presently they
are getting to be more magnanimous, this outsider culture in India has begun
mushrooming across the length and breadth of the urban areas.
With this subject is the hot topic of the media, they are attempting to decode
whether such relationship are great or awful, what l feel is that this
relationship ought not to be seen in defamatory way but the couple ought to be
develop and sensible sufficient to decide what level they would need to reach
some tome recently they actually end up wedding.
May be, that’s why compositions of romance are stamped in such a classic
society, slightest being something like live-in relationship in India. Be that
as it may, the younger age bracket wishes to come out from the cover of
tradition. Affected from huge screen motion picture to little screen daily
cleaners the youthful era is venturing for liberal wonder it hampers the moral
and conventional shafts of Indian society. Live-in may be exceptionally choice
of a male and female, no enactments are there to act as an intruder in this
Indian Legal Perspective for Live-in Relationship
The concept of live-in hasn’t issued or any of the said topic related law and
amendments hasn’t issued by the authority, but in certain parts of Gujarat this
concept has been recognized in way 1993. The Supreme Court in the Malimath
Committee, which in its report submitted in 2003 watched that:
“if a man and a
lady living together as husband and wife for a sensible long period, the man
might be considered to have hitched 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 a enactment enacted for the reason of assurance of ladies from domestic
violence and incorporate live-in connection within 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 nature of marriage.
In Tulsi & Ors v. Durghatiya & Ors,
the SC watched that a man and a lady who is
involved in a live-in relationship for a longer time would be consider as
married couple and their child would be legitimate.
The Indian viewpoint in Khusboo v. Kanniamal 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 a
The SC within the case of Bharatha Marha & nr. V. R.
Vijayrenganathan & 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 any perfect definition of live-in in the same way there is no
particular law made for it. To correctly support such 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 of provision to a wronged live-in relationship.
Issues and Challenges in Live-in Relationship Problems arising for unmarried couple
There are a lot legal and practical rules that affect the unmarried couple like
form sharing money, property, house, having child with our parents to writing a
will. When we understand the law of an particular thing or an relationship they
we can act accordingly to the said rules and laws.
The SC has granted the legal status of live-in relationship but what if the one
of the partner leaves? the other partner is set to be homeless? if the child is
born out of that relationship what status will that child get? Will it empower
Women with the right it inheritance, maintenance, alimony? Will the law give
same status to live-in like marriage? These all the answers are left unanswered
and if the law related to this topic will be amended the answer of all these
questions will be given.
Replacement of marriage: Live-in relationship
Should there is need of all of us to accept the western trend that has entered
India? Is it open to all individuals who want to register their intimate
relationship? In this world marriage would continue to be religious or
institution of course, but no legal status. Live-in relationship has been taken
as an alternative to marriage especially in the metropolitan city. Currently the
law is unaware about the legality of this relationship hence certain rights have
been granted by which any of the partner won’t be abused or harassed.
The concept if live-in provides the freedom and liberty it offers to the
partners and most importantly, the fact is now in urban areas the couple is
choosing live-in rather than the marriage, it is evidently that this trend has
taken a U-turn and, in few years, it will be an common trend and it would be
accepted by the nation.
However, law does have a concept of “presumption of marriage” that would take
place a live-in relationship. If the presumption that a man and a lady live
under the same roof and cohabit for some years, then that years or the that long
period would change into presumption of marriage and against concubinage
according to Section 50 and 114 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Marriage promotes
adjustment while live-in emphasis on individual freedom.
Indian Society is changing and that changed is evident by enacting The
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. Therefore, the overall
development is necessary to maintain the balance.
“Law takes its own time to articulate such social changes through a process of
amendment. That is why in a changing society law cannot afford to remain static.
If one looks at the history of development of Hindu Law, it will be clear that
it was never static and has changed from time to time to meet the challenges of
the changing social pattern in different time.”
Hon'ble Justice A.K.Ganguly & G.S. Singhvi. Marriage is necessarily the basis of
social foundation from which important legal rights and obligations emerge. In
ancient times, marriage was considered to be decided by the God and divinity was
associated with it. Hindu marriage protects a woman by guaranteeing her legal
rights for restitution of conjugal rights in case of desertion, legitimacy of
the children, relief in case of cruelty, adultery, impotency, claim of
maintenance and alimony etc. The culture of India refers to the religions,
beliefs, customs, traditions, languages, ceremonies, arts, values and the way of
life in India and its people.
The society is changing a lot in terms of acceptance of the many roles of women
as professionals, as bread-earners in families and as independent thinking
individuals. Women have proved themselves as equals in many professions as well
as proved themselves even better suited than men in others. The situation for
the changing role of women is improving fast. The traditional role of a man has
been the one of earning the money for the running of the home.
This has changed to a great extent. Live-in relationship does provide a remedy
for a carefree life free from the hassles of responsibility and commitment which
is the very prerequisite of the institution of marriage. The focus is on the
changing attitude of the society in accepting the extra-marital relation.
However, it is a genus giving rise to many sociolegal issues.
Society is formed with traditions and customs which are foundational pillar.
India, a country of cultural values cannot afford to fall into western ways. But
since growing economy and people getting more and more aware, India finally has
to step ahead and walk with the rest of the world by legalizing
live-in-relationship. The argument for replacing marriage with live-in
relationship should have considerable appeal to those who recognize the social
benefits of marriage but are troubled by the out-dated values and historic
traditions that continue to define this legal institution. The laws are not very
clear on live-in relationship at the global level; the countries are hesitant to
India does not recognize such relationships. A legislation be enacted which
clearly stated the rights and obligations of live-in partners. Some countries
are granting greater legality to such couples as per the provision of their
statutes. In India the case is somewhat different. The legal progress of the
laws, the respect to it and unprecedented increase in the number of such
relationships are running unparallel to each other. The law needs to be speeded
up to enact laws and implement them.
The need of the present hour is not to try bringing live-in relationships under
the ambit of any existing law, but to enact a new different law which would look
into the matter of live-in separately and would grant rights and obligations on
the part of the couples thereby reducing the cases of misuse of existing laws
and also to reduce cases of atrocities faced by the female partners under such
relationships. Whether you like it or not phenomenon of live-in relationship is
digging deep into the social fabric of India, as if it is posing a bold
challenge to the institution of marriage. The law in every country has to keep
pace with the changing times.
Sociologists have observed that informal unions are less stable than marriage,
in part, because living together is "under-institutionalized. The same might be
true of live-in couples. Partners entering live-in relationship will know that
it is not legal marriage. Perhaps, in live-in relationship, only religious
marriages will be seen as grounded in commitment. If live-in relationships are
not undertaken with the same seriousness of purpose that characterizes marriage,
and if they are not regulated by commitment norms, they are likely to be fewer
stable unions than even modern marriages.