Asked September 04, 2013

maintenance in live in relationship

  • 2 Answers

Is there any legislation for live-in relationship in India ? Can a women under a live-in relationship claim maintenance for herself and for her child? Does a women under such relationship enjoy any legal status as given to a wife?

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In a live-in relationship an unmarried couple lives together under the same roof in a way it resembles a marriage, but without getting married legally. No law at present deal with the concept of live-in-relationships and their legality. Though the common man is still hesitant in accepting this kind of relationship, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 provides for the protection, maintenance and right of palimony to a live-in partner, if she complains.

In June, 2008, The National Commission for Women also recommended to Ministry of Women and Child Development made suggestion to include live in female partners for the right of maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC. This view was supported by the judgment in Abhijit  Bhikaseth  Auti v. State Of Maharashtra and Others.[1] However, recently it was observed that it is divorced wife who is treated as a wife in context of Section 125 of CrPC. and if a person has not even been married i.e. the case of live in partners, they cannot be divorced, and hence cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC.

The problem is not just limited to the legality of the relationship but also about the status of children born out of such relationship. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 gives the status of a legitimate child to every child whether result of void, voidable or valid marriage. However, they don’t have property and maintenance rights. Therefore, in case the parties to live-in-relationship decide to move out of it, to secure rights of child whom none of the parents want to keep, there must be a provision that any of them would be responsible to look after the child.



[1] 2009 CriLJ 889

Agree Comment 0 Agrees over 8 years ago

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Live-in Relationship-Legality :There is no legal bar in India for women and men staying together,as it is matter of two consenting adults and live -in relationship.The Supreme Court : Law and morality The Supreme Court of India ; bench consisting of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan in actress kushboo case said "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,"The court opined according to Indian Mythology even Krishna and Radha lived together."[1] “Please tell us what the offence is and which section of law applies?”The apex court also cited Article 21 of the part -III of the Constitution of India,which expressly guaranteed the right to life with dignity, liberty and respect, and court also stressed that the perceived immorality by a few protagonists of morality cannot be branded as offence.."The major girl is free to marry any one and she can live with any one ",The live-in relationship between two consenting adults does not amount any offence ,which is heterosexual in nature [which is contrary to Adultery ,which is offence under Indian Penal code 1872][2],The Kusbhoo case will be known for upholding of freedom of expression ,free speech ,individual rights ,she has right to express her views on any subject within parameters of law.The supreme court did not any fault with her views,opined she has right to express her opinion.Later ,Justice Balakrishnan criticized media for making the issue of his remarks about Radha-Krishna relationship,when Hindus opined Krishna was just 10 yrs,when he left virdavan , how can child can have sexual relation at such young age,more over it wrong comparison,devoid of merits,but said observation about per-marital sex,sparked intense debate ,whether Supreme Court is endorsing Pre-marital sex and relationship out of wedlock.Whether it is legalizing bigamy and extra -marital relations?In 2001 ,Payal Sharma Vs Superintendent, Nari Niketan and others case,the Allahabad High Court , the bench consisting of Justice Markandeya Katju & Justice R B Mishra held that ’In our opinion, a man and a woman, even without getting married, can live together if they wish to. This may be regarded as immoral by society, but is not illegal. There is a difference between law and morality.”In the case of Chanmuniya vs Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha & ... on 7 October, 2010term `wife' consistent with the objective... " 26.Thus, in those cases where a man, who livedwith a woman for a long time and even though they may not have undergone legal necessities of a valid marriage, should be made liable to pay the woman maintenance if he deserts her. The man should not be allowed to benefit from the legal loopholes by enjoying the advantages of a de facto marriage 12 without undertaking the duties and obligations. Any other interpretation would lead the woman to vagrancy and destitution, which the provision of maintenance in Section 125 is meant to prevent. 27.The Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System, headed by Dr. Justice V.S. Malimath, in its report of 2003 opined that evidence regarding a man and woman living together for a reasonably long period should be sufficient to draw the presumption that the marriage was performed according to the customary rites of the parties. Thus, it recommended that the word `wife' in Section 125 Cr.P.C. should be amended to include a woman who was living with the man like his wife for a reasonably long period. 28.The Constitution Bench of this Court. In the absence of an express contractMagistrate, the power to award compensation to the aggrieved person, in addition to other reliefs granted under the Act. 40.In terms of Section 26 of the Act, these reliefs mentioned above can be sought in any legal proceeding, before a civil court, family court or a 19 criminal court, affecting the aggrieved person and the respondent. 41.Most significantly, the Act gives a very wide interpretation to the term `domestic relationship' as to take it outside the confines of a maritalrelationship, and even includes live-in relationships in the nature of marriage within the definition of `domestic relationship' under Section 2(f) of the Act. 42.Therefore, women in live-in relationships are also entitled to all the reliefs given in the said Act. 43.We are thus of the opinion that if the abovementioned monetary relief and compensation can be awarded in cases oflive-in relationships under the Act of 2005, they should also be allowed in a proceedings under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. It seems to us that the same view is confirmed by Section 26 of the said Act of 2005. 20 44.We believe that in light of the constant changeRegards

Isha Bhardwaj


Agree Comment 0 Agrees almost 8 years ago

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