shahistapathan's Profile and details
I am Shahista Musa Pathan. I am studing in Third Year of Five Year Law course, at Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara.
“Emerging Concept of Live-in-Relationships”
This article is on the emerging issue of live-in-relationship. The concept of ‘Mitru Sambandh’ is nothing but a concept of the ‘Live-in-relationship’ or ‘Living relationship’. The concept of “Live-in relationship” is a problem or not is debatable question. Generally speaking, in modern age increasing concept of live-in relationship means a male and female staying together as a friend without marriage. This is unstable form of family. Many people imagine that living together before marriage resembles taking a car for a test drive. Live-in-relationships are not new in our society. The only difference is that now people have become open about it. So, let us see the exact meaning of live-in relationship.
Meaning of “Live-in- Relationship”
“It’s better to have a live-in relationship rather than having a divorced life!”
This is common and line favoring live-in relations in the world. Live in relationship are not new for western countries but these days the concept is adjusting its roots in east also. The word live in is controversial in many terms in eastern countries.
The legal definition of live in relationship is “an arrangement of living under which the couples which are unmarried live together to conduct a long-going relationship similarly as in marriage.”
In some parts of world these types of relationships are valid but some countries are highly strict for accepting the concept. It has been found that Younger generation is wider to accept the live in relationships.
Mentality behind “Live-in- Relationship”
We know marriage is of two types ‘Arrange marriage and Love marriage’. After marriage, we don’t know, whether it is successful or not? That’s why?
When arrangement of marriage is for two persons in love then why couples are leaning towards the live-in relationships. This question can have multiple answers, but this have been found that almost all the couples perusing a live-in relation are willing to get married someday. But before that they want to spend some time with one another, for understanding each other and to figure out their compatibility. Because they believe that if they found themselves incompatible after marriage then they will have no choice other than compromising their life-styles.
Further, some couples believe that going for a weeding is just a waste of money, because they think their love doesn’t need any paper certification or social drama. The reasons can be numerous depending upon different mental set-ups.
Need of modern world
We people moves towards ‘Modernization. Today many traditional communities are heading up in the world who opposes live-in relationships; they found it against their religious concerns and social foundations. But it has to be understood that the emotional bindings and relationships can never be pressed by power. Live-in concept is not a problem, it is just thinking. And it has to be entertained rationally. If youth is getting more influenced with the concept, then ethical and legal communities of world must take some necessary steps to keep the concept original and rational. In spite of threatening people about live-in relationships, the need says to support and help the couples who are living together, so that one day they go for some healthier and more social relationship.
Provisions with regard to live-in-relationships
1) Position outside the India
The European countries are worst affected by ‘Live-in –relationship’. In most places, it is legal for unmarried people to live together. The law introduced in 1999 in France makes provisions for “civil solidarity pacts” allowing couples (even of same sex) to enter into a union and be entitled to the same rights as married couples in such areas as income tax, inheritance, housing and social welfare. Couples, who want to enter into such a relationship may sign up before a court clerk and can revoke the contract unilaterally or by bilaterally with a simple declaration, made in writing, which gives the partner three months’ notice.
Article 147, of the Family Code, Philippines provides that when a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.
2) Position within the India
India a country of cultural values and ritual ceremonies cannot afford to plunge into western society. 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. A country like India would allow its citizens to do that, but its fact. Further pre-marital sex and live-in partners, the Supreme Court today opined that a man and woman living together without marriage cannot be construed as an offence.
"When two adult people want to live together what is the offence. Does it amount to an offence? Living together is not an offence. It cannot be an offence," a three judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan observed. The court said even Lord ‘Krishna and Radha’ lived together according to mythology. The apex court said there was no law which prohibits live-in relationship or pre-marital sex.
The apex court made the observation while reserving its judgement on a special leave petition filed by noted south Indian actress Khusboo [S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal & Anr. (2010) 5 SCC 600 (vide para 31)]seeking to quash 22 criminal cases filed against her after she allegedly endorsed pre-marital sex in interviews to various magazines in 2005.The judges grilled the counsel for some of the complainants in the case and repeatedly stressed that the perceived immoral activities cannot be branded as offence. The argument of the counsel was that her comments allegedly endorsing pre-marital sex would adversely affect the minds of young people leading to decay in moral values and country's ethos.
"Please tell us what is the offence and under which section. Living together is a right to life," the apex court said apparently referring to Article 21 which granted right to life and liberty as a Fundamental Right. The apex court further said the views expressed by Khusboo were personal. "How does it concern you? We are not bothered. At the most it is a personal view. How is it an offence? Under which provision of the law?" the bench asked the counsel. The apex court further asked the complainants to produce evidence to show if any girls eloped from their homes after the said interview.
"How many homes have been affected can you tell us," the bench asked while enquiring whether the complainants had daughters. When the response was in the negative, they shot back, "Then, how are you adversely affected?"
Khusboo had approached the apex court after the Madras High Court in 2008 dismissed her plea for quashing the criminal cases filed against her throughout Tamil Nadu.
Live-in relationships: Law-in-Perspective in India
The news spread like jungle fire in national media which is the decision of the Supreme Court in D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal [AIR 2011 SC 479] reflecting upon live-in relationships becoming frequent in India, the Court has pointed out that no legal entitlements occur by such relationship. While Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising has strongly objected to the gender insensitive terminology employed in the decision, since the decision is here to stay, it is clear that no maintenance is available to a concubine under law in India.
The Supreme Court was dealing with the claim of maintenance by a woman claiming to be a wife in view of a live-in relationship for some year (about which we have already written noting a High Court decision). The Court ruled that the concept of palimony which applied to such relationships was not recognized in India and even though the Domestic Violence Act recognized live-in relationship to some degree, not all such relationships were entitled for maintenance unless they satisfied the conditions stipulated by the Court.
The Supreme Court also commented on such relationships described as common-law marriages and the popularity of live-in marriages as a social phenomenon and even recognized by the Parliament in terms of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
It seems to us that in the aforesaid Act of 2005 Parliament have taken notice of a new social phenomenon which has emerged in our country known as live-in relationship. This new relationship is still rare in our country, and is sometimes found in big urban cities in India, but it is very common in North America and Europe. It has been commented upon by this Court in S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal & Anr. (2010) 5 SCC 600 (vide para 31)
In Taylor vs. Fields (1986) 224 Cal. Rpr. 186 the facts were that the plaintiff Taylor had a relationship with a married man Leo. After Leo died Taylor sued his widow alleging breach of an implied agreement to take care of Taylor financially and she claimed maintenance from the estate of Leo. The Court of Appeals in California held that the relationship alleged by Taylor was nothing more than that of a married man and his mistress. It was held that the alleged contract rested on meretricious consideration and hence was invalid and unenforceable. The Court of Appeals relied on the fact that Taylor did not live together with Leo but only occasionally spent weekends with him. There was no sign of a stable and significant cohabitation between the two.
Supreme Court of India Clarify on Live-in relationships
Live-in relationships are living arrangement in which a man and a woman who are unmarried live together like a husband and wife without the legal sanction called marriage. This is a concept that has not gained social acceptance in India. When live-in relationships first came into the open, it created a public outrage as it was considered violative of Indian culture and moral values. Recent court judgments on live in relationships triggered public awareness and clarity about this social issue.
Court Judgments: Children Born to Live-in Couple are not Illegitimate, Says SC
Court judgments have always given broad interpretation of law to protect the rights of women and children. In live-in relationships, court judgments have considered it important to protect child rights, in particular. In January 2008, a Supreme Court bench that was headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat held that children who are born out of live-in relationships will not be considered illegitimate. It was stated, “Law inclines in the interest of legitimacy and thumbs down ‘whoreson’ or ‘fruit of adultery.’”
In August 2010, the Supreme Court held that a live-in relationship that has existed for a long time will be considered a marriage and that the children born to such a couple will not be illegitimate. Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan of the Supreme Court passed this judgment and it will have strong legal implications on disputes relating to the legitimacy of children who are born to live-in partners.
Court Judgments: Domestic Violence Act Applicable to Live-in Relationships
Different court judgments have discussed on different disputes pertaining to live-in relationships. Live-in relationships are now considered with marriage under a new Indian law pertaining to domestic violence. The provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are now extended to those who are in live-in relationships as well. The amendments intend to protect the victims of domestic abuse in live-in relationships. Section 2 (g) of the aforementioned Act provides that a relationship between two individuals who live together or have lived together in the past is considered as a domestic relationship. A woman who is in a live-in relationship can seek legal relief against her partner in case of abuse and harassment. Further, the new law also protects Indian women who are trapped in fraudulent or invalid marriages.
Final Legal Take Away Tip:-
A woman who is subject to any form of violence in a live-in relationship as well as a marital relationship can file a complaint under section 498 A, IPC. She can also seek relief through protection orders, compensation and interim orders citing sections 18 to 23 of the Domestic Violence Act.
Lastly, I concluded that as society as change law is always changed. Further, I think that most of couples go for live-in relations because they hate to be divorced, so why they will do the same after marriage?
So, we all still the opposing communities are on the rock and it is uncertain that the live-in concept is acceptable or not? But it is rooting up day by day and it needs ethical and legal concerns.
Ø ‘Sociology’……………………… ‘Dr. S. R. Myneni’.
Ø ‘Indian Penal Code’……………… ‘Ratanlal and Dhirajlal’
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