In the western country, the concept of live-in is legal but for a country
like India which is still developing but its legality is still a question.
Live-in relationships are one of the modern concepts which are used by couples
to check their compatibility so that issues can be sorted out before marriage.
Live-in relationships are one of the most highlighted topics these days.
Currently, in law, there is no provision for a live-in relationship but various
judgements have been passed widely explaining the live-in concept.
A Live-in relationship is basically when a couple or two people are interested
to live together but without getting married. This concept was recognized by
Allahabad High Court that live-in relationships can be considered immoral but
it's not a criminal offence.
A proposal was approved by the government of Maharastra stating that if a female
partner is involved in a live-in relationship for a reasonable period then the
female partner is liable to get the status of wife.
There has been a certain initiative by the National Commission for women to add
a female partner in a live-in relationship to the present definition of a wife
which is described in Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
A long debate is going on about the live-in relationship and two people involved
in pre-marital sex. Many orthodox groups have been hurt because of this concept
as they feel it would have a bad impact on society. According to them, it would
lead to destructing the sanctity of marriage.
Opinion of Supreme Court:
- When two people live together it would not be considered an offence
- In India currently, there is no law for prohibition of live-in
- The apex court observation says that when two people who want to live
together have reference to Article 21 of the Constitution of India which
talks about the Right to life.
In one of the landmark cases, the Supreme court ruled out that when two people
who are major and are living together cannot be illegal or unlawful.
Application of laws on Live relationship
Under the domestic violence act 2005, the act is applied not only to married
couples but also to a relationship which has the nature of marriage.
According to Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that a female partner
can claim maintenance if she has a relationship which follows the nature of the
live-in relationship, in addition, she would be considered a wife.
In one of the cases related to live-in relationships, the apex court said that
live-in relationships can be considered the domestic relationship which provides
protection under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
A controversial area has been raised because of this concept. Many orthodox
groups are hurt and many people are opposing it. The judiciary is taking a few
steps to recognise the provision related to live-in a relationship. A social
acceptance would be lacking for this concept. A requirement of proper laws is
necessary for the protection of the rights and interests of the parties involved
in a live-in relationship.
Such type of relationship would not be accepted so easily by a country like
India because people are predominantly a rural and agrarian society and more
than half of the population lives in the village.