Despite being immensely widespread in mostly western countries, the social structure of India is excessively different. There is no discretion given to the society to accept the change but It was a need of Indian society to execute itself in such changed surrounding which is extremely different from the cultures and norms that has been followed in the past with religious beliefs.
In India the knot of marriage also makes number of sacred bonds between the family members of such men and women. Live in relationship is in contrary to the customary practices of Indian society and also a serious issue which is not accepted by the society at large. As the society is influenced by the customs and usages that has been practiced in such a manner which is morally followed and religiously worshipped by the Indian society.
Mostly young generation favor the concept of live in relationship because in their perspective, relationships are their personal and private matters that need not be rule by religious, political or patriarchal establishments. On the other hand, some individuals prefer cohabitation because such an arrangement is not obligatory on both parties because live-in-relationships are generally easier to establish as well as dissolve. In some countries, live in relationships are considered legally as common law marriage – it may be applicable after the duration of a pre-specified period, or after the birth of a child, or for certain other specific reasons.
APEX COURT FORMULATED THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES CONNECTED WITH LIVE IN RELATIONSHIP
TO DIMINISH THE STAIN
- 1. Time Duration of period of relationship: Section2 (f) of the DV act includes live-in-relationship
- 2. Shared household: section 2(s) of the DV Act also talks about live-in-relationship
- 3. Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements by such couple.
- 4. Domestic Arrangements and responsibilities shared by such couple
- 5. Sexual & emotional Relationship between the couple like husband and wife
- 6. In case of children born out of such wedlock shows the strong indication of such bond
- 7. Socialization in Public
- 8. Common Intention and conduct of the parties
The Malimath Committee (on Reforms of Criminal Justice System, 2003) made several recommendations with in Part IV, Chap-16 under the Head of “Offences against Women” has observed; “that the definition of the word, ‘wife’ in Section 125 should be amended so as to include a woman who was living with the man as his wife for a reasonable period of time, during the subsistence of the first marriage
The apex court also held, “we cannot, however, lose sight of the fact that inequities do occur in such relationship, the woman customarily is the sufferer in comparison to men.
Legal status of live-In-Relationship:
Framing guidelines for determining live-in relations, the bench said that pooling of financial and domestic arrangements, entrusting the responsibility, sexual relationship, bearing children, socialization in public and intention and conduct of the parties are some of the other criteria to be considered for determining the nature of relations between parties.
For the duration of the period of relationship, the bench said section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act has used the expression “at any point of time”, which means a “reasonable period of time to maintain and continue a relationship which may vary from case to case, depending upon the fact situation.”
Similarly, it said the guideline of pooling of resources and financial arrangements meant “supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor”.
The bench said domestic arrangements where there is entrustment of responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or up-keeping the house are indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage.