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LIve in Relationship in India- Present Position

Google and search engines have been overloaded with the news of Live- In relationship being held not as acceptable to all but living together without marrying doesn’t constitute an Offence. The following statement came from Punjab & Haryana High court on May 18TH 2021. Though the concept of Live- In relationship is practiced in India from a long period of time, the meaning is that two adults (Boy, Girl) above 18 years of age can live together as husband and wife with their consent without any fear from the eyes of law. Now, netizens got puzzled when the Punjab and Haryana court dismissed giving protection to a live-in couple as they were being threatened by their parents.

[1]The order passed by Justice H S Madaan on May 11, 2021, after hearing the arguments through video conferencing read thus:
Petitioners Gulza Kumari and Gurwinder Singh have filed the present petition stating that presently they are residing together, though, they intend to get married shortly; they are apprehending danger to their lives at hands of parents of petitioner No.1-Gulza Kumari. As a matter of fact, the petitioners in the garb of filing the present petition are seeking a seal of approval on their live-in-relationship, which is morally and socially not acceptable and no protection order in the petition can be passed. The petition stands dismissed accordingly.

If we go through the above decision of the court it clearly tells that they granted protection against threatening from their parents as they feared they would be harmed and not on the legality of their love or live-in relationship. Under Article 21 Right to Life it is a part of it and two adults can never be deprived or held rejected if they decide to live together as a live in couple at any cost.

Supreme Court on live in relationship:

  1. Living together is not an offence
  2. No law in India prohibits a live in relationship
  3. Referring to Article 21, the Apex Court has observed living together falls under ‘Right to Life’
  4. The court has observed, In our opinion, a man and a woman, even without getting married, can live together if they wish to. This may be regarded as immoral by society, but it is not illegal. There is a difference between law and morality. (Payal Sharma V. Nari Niketan, 2001 SCC ALL 332)
If we go through all the points it clearly says that it may be regarded as immoral by society which means that the society may not be in a point to adjust or accept that relationship. We all know that acceptance differs because of our culture, traditions and customs. But, in no circumstances they are immoral or against the Law as it is a relationship in the eyes of law.

What we all need to understand here is that the mentality of Judges and not the rule of law as Justice Sudhir Mittal of the same Punjab and Haryana Court granted protection to a live in couple stating that such a relationship is never prohibited in the eyes of law and nor does it relates to commission of any offence. So, here the mentality depends and just because the ruling has been given by a High Court Judge no action could be taken. In Indian judiciary there are lots of peculiarities as if the same would have been given by a Magistrate below the High Court the scenario could have been different.

In Kamini Devi v State of UP., W.P. (C) 11180/2020)
The courts had earlier granted protection to a couple in a live- in relationship, noting  that where a boy and a girl are major and they are living with their free will, then, nobody including their parents, has authority to interfere with their living together

Conclusion
Marriage is viewed as a hallowed association, which is authorized just as profoundly regarded in the public eye. Yet, with the impact of the West, a specific populace appears to receive the Western culture for example the pattern of live-in relationships. The judiciary has acted as a watchdog to break the taboo in the society and let them live as a live in couple and give them equal respect in the society. Marriage is a consecrated social foundation in India.

Nonetheless, there are sure people who don't submit to a similar view and wouldn't fret attempting another idea like live-in. Today Live-in relationship is certainly not a no-no in our general public that degree as it was previously, and is being acknowledged and progressively followed by individuals. Society is changing and the law has assumed an essential part in characterizing change in the public arena.

Society and law are instrumental in directing one's lead. As referenced in the former parts, there is an adjustment of the impression of the general public about living examples, and the law is likewise reacting to the changing patterns in the general public and conveying decisions taking into account the changed situation.

Marriage is a social foundation and one of the significant pieces of Indian culture. Our country, which has solid social roots, centers around profound quality and social morals. In any case, with evolving times, we have begun to follow the Western culture, which is entirely unexpected than Indian culture.

A specific segment of India also appears to have followed the Western culture for example of live-in relationship. This article gives center around choice conveyed by the Supreme Court of India, its impacts on the general public and new difficulties. Change in law for a little area would definitely influence the country's entire populace.

Odds are reasonable that the coming ages may fail to remember the significance of marriage and follow ill-conceived connections. Live in relationship straightforwardly influencing the situation with spouse, youngsters, family and entire country. Our general public needs to assume significant part of guard dog to keep idea from getting live-in relationship and confusion of marriage. In any case our character, mankind and our rich antiquated culture, custom will be in grave peril.

End-Notes:
  1. https://thefederal.com/opinion/understanding-high-courts-judgment-on-live-in-relationship/
Written By: Suman Patra - B.A.LL.B. (H) Amity University Gwalior Madhya Pradesh, LLM Bankura University Pursuing (Constitutional and Administrative Law) Diploma in Cyber Security National Law University Bangalore

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