In India there is no specific law which defines the rights and commitments for
the parties living in Live relationship, and for the status of children born to
the couple living in live in relationship, however Apex court has clarified the
concept of Live in relationship through various, Judgments. In India various
acts like Domestic Violence Act , 2005 and section 125 Cr.PC provides various
provisions for maintenance for woman staying in Live in relationship.
New Form Of Institution Of Marriage: Live-in relationship
Live in relation means cohabitation, it is arrangement of living under long term
relationship living together without marriage. This form of marriage doesn’t
give any responsibilities to the couple and is informal in nature. People
generally choose to be together before getting into formal relation or marriage
to check the compatibility, or if a couple in India is unable to marry formally
they choose to stay in live in relationship.
The Live in relationship is similar to marriage only but not marriage. Earlier
such form of relationship was not legally recognized and there were no
legislations now the Supreme court has made it clear that any aggrieved live in
partner can seek remedies under Domestic Violence Act 2005, which provides
protection and maintenance and thereby grant the right of alimony.
It is a form of interpersonal status which is legally recognized in some
jurisdictions as a marriage, even though legally recognized marriage ceremony is
not performed or civil marriage contract is not entered into or the marriage is
not registered in a civil registry. Such marriages are legally binding in some
countries but have no legal consequences in others.
Legal Status Of Live In Relationship
Pre independence, India was feudal society wherein sexual intercourse between
man and women before the marriage was totally prohibited and regarded as
disgust and horror. Their were many reasons why Live in relationship was not
accepted was that society worshipped the institution of marriage, Secondly if
the woman was not financially independent this kind of relationship would have
made condition of woman more worse in society.
After Post-independence, when
society became matured, bigamy was outlawed (banned , illegal) and man
committing such crime was booked under penal laws. Thereafter the women become
more aware about her rights and duties of her husband towards matrimonial life.
That there exists no law or legislations which deal with the concept of Live in
relationship and their legality in India. It is very important to mention that
all the present legislations i.e. Hindu succession act 1955, the special
marriage act 1954 and Indian succession act 1925 doesn’t directly accepts the
Live in relationship and its legality. But a woman living in live in
relationship can seek maintenance under section 125 Criminal Procedure code and
Domestic Violence Act 2005.
Under section 17 of the Hindu Marriage Act, children born out of such
relationships are considered to be legitimate and been granted the rights to
Maintenance To Live In Partners
Apex court in Abhijit Bhakaseth Auti Vs State of Maharashtra and otherscase
held that women need not establish the marriage to claim maintenance under
section 125 CrPc , a woman living in relationship may also claim maintenance
under this section.
In Badri Prasad Vs Dy Director of Consolidation, 1978. It was the 1stcase
which the Supreme Court recognized Live in relationship in India and interpreted
it as a valid marriage. In this case, the court gave legal validity to a 50 year
Live in relationship of a couple.
In Tulsa Vs Durghatiya, 2008 supreme court provided legal status to the
children born from Live- in relationship.
Inheritance rights of the Live–in Partners
The Supreme Court in Vidhyadhari Vs Sukhrana Bai Case, stated that
persons living together as husband and wife for a reasonably long period can
receive property in inheritance from a live in partner.
Rights of Children born out of Live in Relationship
The children born through a live in relationship enjoys the same rights of
succession and inheritance as are enjoyed by a child born from a married couple
under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Indian legislation doesn’t provide any provision to woman living in Live in
relationship however Apex court has clarified the concept of live-in
relationship and has given relief to aggrieved women under Domestic Violence Act
2005 and Section 125 CrPC.
Concept of Live in Relationship and Maintenance
Written By: Jasdeep kaur – Ex Law officer Govt of Delhi NCT, Advocate Delhi
High Court, LLM 2016-17( Uslls IP university Delhi Dwarka) Phd Law ( Pursuing )
Email: [email protected]