In 2015 when the Honourable Supreme Court passed a verdict in the favour of live-in-relationship there was a moment of joy among youths all around the country. It was not only a psychological boost for them but also an indication of individual freedom for which they seem to carving for. The supreme court accepted the live-ins but there is something which continuously hovers around us. Is really live-in-relationship a necessity or have we lost faith in the concept of marriage?
Live-in relationship in simple terms can be explained as a relationship in the nature of marriage where both partners enjoy individual freedom and live in a shared household without being married to each other. The catch is that there is no law tying them together and they walk out of the relationship as and when they will to do so. As over a period of time it has gained prominence especially in metro cities which have led to the origin of various other factors. Be it the status of children born out of such relationships or the right to maintenance, application of the domestic violence act have been revolving around the courts since years. In a landmark judgement by the supreme court in the case of Indra Sarma vs VKV Sarma in 2013, the court categorised the concept of live-in-relationships to be considered and proven in court. These five categories are:
- Domestic relationship between an adult male and an adult female, both unmarried. It is the most uncomplicated sort of relationship
- Domestic relationship between a married man and an adult unmarried woman, entered knowingly.
- Domestic relationship between an adult unmarried man and a married woman, entered knowingly. Such relationship can lead to a conviction under Indian Penal Code for the crime of adultery
- Domestic relationship between an unmarried adult female and a married male, entered unknowingly
- Domestic relationship between same sex partners ( gay or lesbian)
The Play of Presumption
Every time the judiciary have passed a verdict in case of live-in-relationships, it has strongly advocated on presuming such relationships as marriage. Even though it may be presumed in the conservative society as taboo and immoral it can’t be said illegal. Whenever we ought to witness any case of such relationships we tend to presume it as a romantic relationships where both are cohabiting without any such tantrums which could bind them. Even Bollywood have recently featured movies on such relationships. By media public started coming to know that particular actors are in live-ins. Real questions came to the public domain over live-in relationship on status of child as in case of Tulsa & Ors vs. Durghatiya & Ors, 2008 or the case of D.Velusamy vs. D.Patchaiammal, 2010 for safeguarding her against domestic violence.
The individual freedom is important factor in the development of a person but promoting live-ins in the name of freedom has high chance to curve the values and ethics of society and dilute respect of marriage. The marriage which is not only solemn in nature but also a crucial part of our life. Moreover, this will produce orphans and single mothers which will put tremendous pressure to these women and encourage divorce. Men will easily run away when a child is born in such relationships. This would further promote domestic violence and suicide.