Marriage depends on a sacrosanct strict function. The relationship between a man
and a woman. It is a lawful and social approval as a rule between a man and a
woman that is controlled by law, rules, customs, conviction, and perspectives
that recommended the rights and obligations of the accomplices concurs status to
their posterity. It is treated as hallowed relationships.
A living course of action where an unmarried couple lives under a similar
rooftop for a long- term relationship that resembles a marriage is understood as
live-in-relationship. Along these lines, it is a kind of course of action
wherein a man and woman live respectively without getting hitched.
A live-in relationship not just offers the couple a chance to know the
accomplice without having into a lawfully restricting relationship yet
additionally prohibit the bedlam of family show and long court systems on the
off chance that the couple choose to isolate.
According to article 21 of the Indian constitution, which guarantees right to
life and liberty as a fundamental right. So, if the couple decided to live
together then they can live and it is within their Right to Life.
In case Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma
[i], it was held that, Live-in relationship
is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country.
The objective of this article is to recognize about the legitimate status of the
live-in relationship. The judicial decision in India identified with the
concept. The Pros and cons of the live-in relationship. This article
additionally discusses about the protection against the exploitation of women
and children in live-in relationship.
Live- in relationship includes constant living together between the accomplices
with no duties or commitments towards each other. There is no law integrating
them. A live-in relationship isn't perceived by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or
some other rule. Without any law, the court have taken a view that where a man
and a woman live respectively as a couple for a long period, the law will assume
that they were lawfully hitched unless proved contrary.
Under English law, a marriage was an agreement dependent on a deliberate private
agreement by a man and a woman to become a couple. It is seen as a premise of
the family until and essential to safeguarding of good and human progress.
essential components of marriage are:
- the parties legal ability
- mutual consent
- marriage contract as required by law.
The conditions set down are that the couple must hold themselves out to society
as being likened to life partners; they must be at legal age which is 18 for
women and 21 for men for marrying each other, they must be unmarried before
going into a lawful marriage, they must have deliberately lived together for a
significant period of time, they must share household, financial arrangement
between parties , there must be a socialization of relation in public.
In case Alok Kumar v. State & Anr.
[ii] held that the relationship should be
established for a considerable time period. Or according to the phrase from
Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra, it should not be walk in and walk out
In another case, S.P.S. Balasubramanyam v. Suruttayan alias Andali Padayachi &
[iii] the Supreme Court ruled that if man and women living together under
the same roof and cohabiting for a number of years, there would be presumption
of marriage U/s 114 of The Evidence Act 1872.
In Payal Sharma alias Kamla Sharma alias Payal katara v. Superintendent, Nari
Niketan, Kalindri Vihar Agra & Ors
.[iv] The court observed that a girl of 21
years of age is major, and can live with anyone. This may regard immoral but
it's not illegal.
The legal rights of couples living in a live-in relationship are:
- The Supreme Court in many cases said a couple living together for a
certain time period has comparable legitimate rights as that of a wedded
- The Court has also given a right to maintenance under the Domestic
Violence Act, 2005. Especially, for the women's and children's who are the
part of a live-in relationship.
- The Court has further stated under Section 2 (f) of the Protection of
Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 that a live-in relationship is
going to fall within the said expression - 'relationship within the nature
Protection Against Exploitation Of Women And Children
Maintenance of the women
A man and a woman living together in a live-in relationship does not have a
status like husband and wife. Without any status they cannot claim any rights,
under property law, maintenance rights, religious, conjugal rights, etc. These
rights are absent for them. But in 2008, The National Commission of India
recommended The Ministry of Women and Child Development to include female
live-In partner for the right of maintenance under section 125 of CrPC 1973.
In case Abhijit Bhikaseth Auti v. State of Maharashtra & Ors
.[v] The objective
of recommendation was to combine other sections of laws with the protection of
women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. It was observed by the Malimath committee
that, if man and woman are living together as a husband and wife for
considerably long period of time, then the women ought to enjoy the legal status
of married women.
The partner of a live-in relationship was a first-time accorded protection by
the protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which considers
females who aren't formally married, but live with a male in a relationship,
which is within the nature of marriage, also akin to wife, though not like wife.
However, as per Section- 2 (f), it not only applies to a marriage, but also to a
relationship in nature of marriage
Legitimacy of a children out of marriage
Partners cohabitation for a long time may have kids together. The section 16 of
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 gives grants the status of legitimacy to every child
irrespective of his birth out of a void, voidable, or a legal marriage. But
there's no specific law that raises any presumption of legitimacy in favour of
children of live-in partners.
Custody and Maintenance rights of children
The position on the maintenance right of children out of marriage varies in
personal law. For instance, under the Hindu Law the father needs to keep up the
child, though under the Muslim Law the father has been acquitted of such a
However, under Section- 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, remedy is available
for children who are unable to claim maintenance under personal laws. Section-
125 provides a right of maintenance to wives, children.
In case Bharata Matha & Ors. Vs. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors
[vi]., the Supreme
Court held that child born out of a live-in relationship may be allowed to
succeed inheritance in the property of the parents, but doesn't have any claim
against Hindu Ancestral Coparcenary property.
Pros And Cons Of Live-In Relationship
There are much lesser responsibilities in live-in relationship. People chose
live-in relationship because they cannot handle the responsibilities of the
marriage. Divorce is a curse in the marriage, where as in live-in there is no
such drama. If the partner thinks, they cannot live together then they can
easily move on. There is a great advantage of a live-in relationship is that
there is a financial freedom. They can easily divide their expenses and it is
rarely impossible in marriage.
Social censure is a great disadvantage in live-in relationship. Society hardly
accept the live-in relationships especially the old generation doesn't accept
such relationships. They are mostly harassed by the society. There is a lack of
commitment when it comes to live-in relationships the partner is not ready to
give any commitments to each other.
In a live-in relationship the partner may feel suffocated due to lack of
personal space. With many troubles they may separate from each other.
In India Live-in relationship is still considered as a taboo. India is known for
its culture and values, here they don't consider live-in relation as a proper
way to stay together. They think it is an offensive and immoral act. Many courts
have given various judgement on the same but no positive response from the
However, there is no such legislation regarding live-in relationships.
Later, Supreme Court of India stated that live-in relationship is considered as
Right to Life and they cannot be held illegal in the eyes of law.
- AIR 2006 SC 2522
- CRL.M.C. No.4181 /2015
- [AIR 1992 SC 756]
- 3 Cri.LJ, 889, 892(Bom.2009)
- AIR 2010 SC 2685