By Harpreet Kaur, Advocate                        

“The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.”

Neale Donald Walsch

Background:

In the recent years, with the advent of westernization, we have seen that there have been many instances where the people has tried to copy the trend of west in order to get westernized and in the same line we see a new trend which is getting popular among the folk, mostly among the metro population, these days and which is often in news for something or other and that trend is the trend of living with a partner without being wedded with him or her i.e. “live in relationships”.

The live-in relationship is a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together which resembles a marriage. In common parlance, it is cohabitation[1]. The basic idea of conducting a live in relationship is that the interested couple wants to test their compatibility for each other before going for some commitment[2]. Nowadays, an increasing number of couples choose a live-in relationship over marriage may be because they see no benefit or value offered by the institution of marriage or that their financial situation prevents them from being married on account of marriage expenses. Whatever may be the reason, in such a situation, various social, economic and legal issues have arisen and continue to do so[3].

There have been debates over this topic at every forum and here comes a divide between two groups or rather it should be termed as a “Generation gap”, now there is on one side the youth community, or the ones who are actually practicing it or have adopted it as a part of their lifestyle, which wants that this “arrangement” should be given a legal backing and support “live in relationship” and their another argument is, that being adults they have the right to live with anybody either before marriage or after marriage. On the other side we have the army of “elders” who are “spiritually charged” and claim that “live in relationship” is against religion, decency, morality and thus should be banned, their another argument is that such kind of arrangement is harmful for the social fabric and if not nipped in the beginning it can create a big “chaos”.

Live-in relationships in India are often seen as a taboo and a sin[4]. None of Indian statutes dealing with marriage such as Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and so on recognize live-in relationships[5]. However, it is not very difficult to find unmarried people living in big metropolitans staying as husband and wife. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 recognises the right to protection of a person in a “relationship in the nature of marriage”[6] from domestic violence[7] with access to monetary[8] and other reliefs under the Act. The law does have a concept called “presumption of marriage”[9] which could be used to recognize such relationships. A presumption is available if a man and woman are living under the same roof and cohabit for a number of years. Continuous and prolonged cohabitation raises a presumption in favour of marriage[10].

Status of Live-In Relationships in comparison with the Status of Married Couples:

The traditional Indian society however disapproved of such living arrangements, for several reasons[11]. First, society revered the institution of marriage. Secondly, if a woman was financially dependent on the man, the instability of such a relationship created a subservient status for the woman. Till recently and even now in small towns and cities, there is much social criticism and stigma attached to such live-in relationships, forcing them to remain largely secretive.

The Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of U.P[12] held that the live-in relationship is permissible only in unmarried persons of heterosexual sex of the age of majority. The brothers of Lata Singh had alleged that she was mentally unfit when they had protested her marriage. However this was held to be untrue when she was examined by doctors. The live-in relationship if continued for such a long time, cannot be termed as a “walk in and walk out” relationship; there has to be a presumption of marriage between them[13]. In Gokal Chand v. Parvin Kumari[14] the court cautioned that the couple would not get legitimacy, if the evidence of them living together was rebudivorce,table. These decisions only served to recognize marriages which were doubted, on the basis that a long-term live-in relationship existed. However the courts did not recognize live-in relationships as independent of the institution of marriage, that is the presumption of marriage was a key element.

In S.P.S. Balasubramanyam v. Suruttayan[15] the Supreme Court held that if a man and woman are living under the same roof and cohabiting for a number of years, there will be a presumption under Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act that they live as husband and wife and the children born to them will not be illegitimate[16]. This decision suggested that the law treats long live-in relationships as good as marriages. The courts could subsequently interpret live-in relations to mean “living together as husband and wife”[17]to exclude those who enter into a live-in relationship “by choice” without intending to be married, as that is still a matter of doubt and debate.

Divorce:

Women in live-in relationships are not recognized by their husband’s surname, for any legal or financial matters including opening a bank account, submission of income tax return, applying for loans, etc. They retain their identity as an individual and are not recognized as a “wife”[18] or a “domestic partner”[19]. Consequently, live-in couples can separate informally without any formal divorce or the intervention of a court[20]. In case of live-in relationship, it is not possible to have a formal divorce in law among partners. The careful scrutiny of the existing matrimonial laws indicates that unless this kind of relationship is not recognized in law the partners cannot be allowed to separate formally. It looks like it is easy to get into live-in relationship whether “by choice” or “by circumstance” but difficult to get out of this relationship formally. Whereas the consequences of this relationship are left unanswered in law, for example, there is no law in place which deals with the division and protection of their separate or joint property on separation.

Issue of Maintenance:

The Supreme Court in Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shivram Adhav[21] held that where a man having a living lawfully wedded wife marries another woman, his second “wife” had no claim to maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 even though she might be unaware of his earlier marriage. The Court refused to give any recognition to the fact that they had lived together even if their marriage was void. The man was allowed to take advantage of this, although he had failed to disclose his earlier marriage. The Supreme Court held that it would not grant any rights to the woman in such a live-in relationship “of circumstance”. In Malti v. State of U.P[22] , the Allahabad High Court held that a woman living with a man could not be equated as his “wife”. In this case, the woman was a cook in the man’s house and she stayed with him and shared an intimate relationship. The Court however refused to extend the meaning of the word “wife” as denoted in Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to include such a live-in partner’s maintenance[23] claims.

In Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya v. State of Gujarat[24] Supreme Court went further to the extent of observing that the fact that the respondent was treating the appellant as his wife “is really inconsequential because it is the intention of the legislature which is relevant and not the attitude of the party”. Even the plea that the appellant was not informed about the respondent’s earlier marriage, when she married him, is of “no avail”, because the principle of estoppel[25] cannot be pressed into service to defeat the provisions of Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Thus, as per the present provisions of Section 125, there is no escape from the conclusion that the expression “wife” refers only to the “legally wedded wife”. Hence, the Court granted maintenance to the child and not to the second wife. Under the law a second wife whose marriage is void on account of the survival of the first marriage is not a legally wedded wife, and is, therefore, not entitled to maintenance under this provision[26].

In Narinder Pal Kaur Chawla v. Manjeet Singh Chawla[27], the Court took a liberal view and stated that the second wife has a right to claim maintenance under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. In this case the husband had not disclosed the facts of his first marriage and married the appellant and maintained a relationship with her for 14 years as husband and wife. The Court also took support from the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and held that if we do not give maintenance to the second wife it would amount to giving premium to the respondent for defrauding the appellant[28].

The Supreme Court in Rameshchandra Rampratapji Daga v. Rameshwari Rameshchandra Daga[29] tried to distinguish between the “legality” and “morality” of relationships. Where the Supreme Court observed that keeping into consideration the present state of statutory law, a bigamous marriage may be declared illegal because it contravenes the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 but it cannot be said to be immoral so as to deny even the right of alimony or maintenance to spouse[30].

The increasing incidents of live-in relationships, especially those which occur “by circumstance”, however ensured that the need for reforms was recognized. In 2003, the Malimath Committee Report on “Reforms in the Criminal Justice System” suggested an amendment of the word “wife” in Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to include a woman who is “living in” with a man for a “reasonable period”[31]. Ironically, back in 1985, the Supreme Court in Sumitra Devi v. Bhikan Choudhary[32]had held that where a man and woman were cohabiting for a long time and were treated by society as husband and wife, marriage is to be presumed for awarding maintenance. However, the courts have not extended this principle to include purported live-in partners. Significantly, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 became the first statute to give live-in partners the same recognition as married couples. The protection under this Act does not qualify live-in partners to get the same benefit under personal law.

In M. Palani v. Meenakshi[33] the respondent had filed a claim for maintenance of Rs 10,000 for food, clothes, shelter and other basic necessities from the plaintiff, who had been in a live-in relationship with her. The said application was filed under Section 20[34] read with Section 26. The petitioner contended that the respondent was not entitled to any maintenance since they had not lived together at any point of time. They had only indulged in consensual sexual intercourse sometimes as friends, without any thought of marriage. He hence contended that mere proximity at some time for the sake of mutual pleasure (as in their case) could not be called a “domestic relationship”[35] to invite the application of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The Madras High Court looked into the definition of “domestic relationship” as given in Section 2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 which did not specify that the couple should have lived together for a particular period for the relationship to be a domestic relationship. The Court held that “at least at the time of having sex by them, they shared household and lived together”. The Court further held that the provisions of the Act would apply even in such a case; hence, a maintenance claim under the Act was upheld. Thus the provisions of the Act would apply even in those cases where man and woman share a frequent sexual relationship, even if there is no express intention to a long-term commitment from either party. While some may see this as a weapon which may be used by a woman to seek vengeance on a man, if he walks out of a soured live-in relationship, a larger issue of protecting the rights and vulnerability of the “other” woman has been partially addressed by allowing such claims[36].

Partners in a live-in relationship do not enjoy an automatic right of inheritance to the property of their partner. The Hindu Succession Act 1956 does not specify succession rights to even a mistress living with a male Hindu. However, the Supreme Court in Vidhyadhari v. Sukhrana Bai[37]created a hope for persons living together as husband and wife by providing that those who have been in a live-in relationship for a reasonably long period of time can receive property in inheritance from a live-in partner. In this case property of a Hindu male, upon his death (intestate), was given to a woman with whom he enjoyed a live-in relationship, even though he had a legally wedded wife alive.

Status of children:

There is an increasing trend of couples entering into live-in relationships, not as a precursor but rather a substitute of a formal marriage. Such long-term commitments often include procreation of children. In live-ins “by circumstance”, the partners may procreate believing that he/she will become legally married. Either way various legal issues arise about the status and rights of such children, born out of legal wedlock, in comparison to those born in marriages. Following are the key issues for consideration.

(a) Legitimacy of children: Section 112[38] of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 provides that legitimacy of a child is proved only if he or she was born during the continuance of a valid marriage between his mother and father. Mohammedan (Muslim) law too recognizes only those children, who are the offspring between a man and his wife as legitimate children. Thus children born from a live-in relationship were “illegitimate” in the eye of existing law. However the Supreme Court in Tulsa v. Durghatiya[39] held that children born out of such a relationship will no more be considered illegitimate. Again in Vidhyadhari v. Sukhrana Bai[40], the Supreme Court held that even if a person had contracted into second marriage during the subsistence of his first marriage, children from the second marriage would still be legitimate though the second marriage would be void.

(b) Maintenance rights of children: A legitimate son, son of predeceased son or the son of predeceased son of predeceased son, so long as he is minor, and a legitimate unmarried daughter or unmarried daughter of the predeceased son or the unmarried daughter of a predeceased son of predeceased son, so long as she remains unmarried, shall be maintained as dependents by his or her father or the estate of his or her deceased father. But children from live-in relationships do not enjoy this right under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956, whereas Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides maintenance to children whether legitimate or illegitimate while they are minors and after they attain majority where such child is unable to maintain himself. However, the right to maintenance of children born from a live-in relationship was upheld in 2007, in Dimple Gupta v. Rajiv Gupta[41].

(c) Guardianship and custodial rights: In Hindu law, after the marriage of a man to a girl who is a legal minor, the husband is the legal guardian of his wife as a minor and is entitled to her custody. The mere fact that she is a minor will not disentitle her from claiming such custody to the exclusion of her parents. Where the father and the mother are not married to each other and a child is born to such parents, the mother and not the father has the parental responsibility for the child. Section 6(a)[42] of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956 provides the father as the natural guardian of his minor legitimate children and the mother becomes the natural guardian “in his absence” i.e. where he is incapable of acting as the guardian[43]. Section 6(b)[44] of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956 provides the mother as the natural guardian over any illegitimate children she has. Under Muslim law, the father is the natural guardian and the mother does not become the natural guardian even after his death. Muslim law does not provide for the guardianship of illegitimate children, but it has come to be established through case law that it will be vested in the mother. While deciding a matter on custody, the court takes into account the welfare, age, sex and the wishes of the child as well as the wishes of his parents; the welfare of the child shall be the paramount consideration[45]. This applies even in custody cases involving children from live-in relationships.

(d) Inheritance rights of children: Under Hindu law, an illegitimate child inherits the property of his mother only and not putative father, whereas under Sharia law, such a child cannot even inherit from his mother. If children from a live-in relationship were to still be considered “illegitimate”, inheritance from the father’s estate would be barred. In fact, where the live-in relationship has not subsisted for a reasonable period of time, the courts would not consider a child from such relationship to be legitimate, thereby barring his inheritance. However, where the live-in satisfies this condition, a child being “legitimate” can inherit from both the parents. In Revanasiddappa v. Mallikarjun[46], the Supreme Court granted the inheritance to the four children born from the woman with whom the man shared a live-in relationship, calling them “his legal heirs”. The Court has thus ensured that no child born from a live-in relationship of a reasonable period may be denied their inheritance.

GLOBAL POSITION ON LIVE-IN RELATIONSHIP:

Live-in relationships are recognized as it exists or it’s gaining recognition through statutes that protect one’s property rights, housing rights and other rights etc. In some countries it is a sort contract between two persons whether they are married or unmarried, on which they themselves can determine their legal rights. So far as the rights of children born out of such relationships are concerned, law of various countries exudes the uniform tenor of protecting their rights[47].

In Philippines, the rights to property whether it is moveable and immoveable property, is governed by co-ownership rules. Article 147, of the Family Code in the 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.”

In China, those who opt for live-in relationship are supposed to enter into a contract in order to safeguard the rights of children born out of such relationships. The child born through such relationships enjoys the same succession and inheritance rights as are enjoyed by children born through marriages[48].

Australia and Ireland have already given recognition to such relationships. Australia recognizes “de facto relationship” under its family law. As there has been greater demand for right to maintenance by separated live-in couples in Ireland, there is impetus towards greater recognition to live-in relationship[49].

In Canada, live-in couples are accorded their legal rights if they are living conjugal relationship for a year or so[50] and the couple are parents of a child by birth or adoption, or one of the persons has custody and control of the child and the child is wholly dependent on that person for support[51].

In USA the expression ‘palimony’ was coined which means grant of maintenance to a woman who has lived for a substantial period of time with a man without marrying him and is then deserted by him. In Taylor v. Fields[52] 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. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court in Devaney v. L’ Esperance[53] held that cohabitation is not necessary to claim palimony, rather “it is the promise to support, expressed or implied, coupled with a marital type relationship, that are indispensable elements to support a valid claim for palimony”. A law has now been passed in 2010 by the State legislature of New Jersey that there must be a written agreement between the parties to claim palimony[54].

In the United Kingdom the case is altogether different. The couple living together does not enjoy the status of married couple. They do not enjoy legal sanction guaranteed to married couple. They are free to maintain each other separately. There is no obligation or liabilities on each other to maintain unless a partner specifically mention the name of other partner in the will; partners do not have inheritance right over each other property. As per a 2010 note from the Home Affairs Section to the House of Commons, after the break down of such relationships, unmarried couple shall have no guaranteed rights to ownership of each other’s property. But, the laws seek to protect the rights of children born out such relationships. The onus of bringing up their children lies on both parents despite the fact whether they are married or cohabiting[55].

In Scotland, legal sanctity was conferred on live-in relationship in 2006[56]. The law states that a person can be considered a cohabitant of another by checking on three factors: duration of cohabitation, nature of relation during that period, the nature and extent of any financial arrangements in the event of breakdown of such relation, section 28 of the Act empowers a partner to apply in court for financial support. This law applies in the case of separation of the partners and not death of either partner. If a partner dies, the survivor can move the court for financial support within six months from the estate of the deceased[57].

In France, The French National Assembly has passed “Civil Solidarity Pacts” known as “pacte civil de solidarite” or PaCS, in October 1999, which permits a couple to enter into a union by signing before a court clerk. The contract binds “two adults of different sexes or of the same sex, in order to organize their common life” and permits them to enjoy the rights given to married couples in the sphere of income tax, housing and social welfare. This contract can be cancelled by one partner or both after giving the partner, three months’ notice in black and white[58]. 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[59].

Pros of live-in relationships:

The votaries of live-in give the following reasons in support of their argument:

  1. It allows you to find out the compatibility between you and your partner, without marriage.
  2. Live-in can get you a chance to know your partner inside out as during normal dating phase, people don’t show their true colours.
  3. Live-in serves as the perfect rehearsal for a married life, if you have decided to get married after live-in.

Cons of the live in relationship on the society:

This fashion of live-in relation has effected all the youth of the society for various reasons. Nothing escapes without leaving drawbacks. No doubt such relation gives two partners the maximum opportunity to right to liberty, right to privacy, right to life. But the negative point has to be realised as well. Followings will be the negative effects on the society.

  1. The very fact that separation is too easy, the live-in relationships are prone to end prematurely.
  2. Live-in relationship is degrading the value of marriage which is recognised as social union unlike live-in relationship where there is only well of two person. Hence, it weakens the social relationships.
  3. Live-in relationship is a contract of living together which is renewed every day by the parties and can be terminated by either without the consent of the other. Thus people who choose to have a live-in relationship cannot complain of infidelity or immorality[60].

LANDMARK CASE:

The Supreme Court on 29th November 2013 held that “Live-in or marriage like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country. Long-standing relationship as a concubine, though not a relationship in the nature of a marriage, of course, may at times, deserves protection because that woman might not be financially independent, but we are afraid that DV Act does not take care of such relationships which may perhaps call for an amendment of the definition of Section 2(f) of the DV Act, which is restrictive and Exhaustive.” The court as well asked Parliament to bring in proper amendments to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, or enact a suitable legislation so that women and children born out of live-in relationships are protected, though those types of relationship might not be a relationship in the nature of a marriage[61].

A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose said though the eight guidelines are not exhaustive, these will definitely give some insight to such relationships. 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 duration of period of relationship, the bench said section 2(f) of the DV 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[62].

The apex court formulated the following guidelines relating to live-in relationship on following points:

  • Duration of period of relationship: Section 2(f) of the DV 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.
  • Shared household: The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.
  • Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements: 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.
  • Domestic Arrangements: Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, does the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or up keeping the house, etc. is an indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage[63].

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court in a number of cases has stated that where there is cohabitation for a “reasonable period of time”, the couple shall be presumed to be leading a married life and shall enjoy such rights. However, the Court has not defined how much time should be considered to confer the marital status on such relationships. It needs the immediate attention of the lawmakers to make it clear through suitable legislation otherwise different couples may be subjected to different yardsticks when they seek their rights. After all, live-in relationships are based on informal understandings.

An amendment to Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure could be one such example that would bring a uniform law, which would outline the rights, duties and responsibilities of such couples. Such a law could define those couples that to whom it applied (in terms of length of cohabitation), recognize the two kinds of live-in relationships and provide remedies accordingly, in the same manner as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It is necessary to understand society with its changing colours and provide laws which are practicable and enforceable to tackle these complex issues.

[1] “Live together and have a sexual relationship without being married”, Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 7th ed. 2007

[2] Prof. Vijender Kumar, Live-In Relationship : Impact on Marriage and Family Institutions, (2012) 4 SCC J-19 at p. J-19

[3] Ibid.

[4] Amartya Bag, Succession Rights In Case Of Live-In Relationships: An Analysis In The Indian Context, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2011751

[5] Live-in Relationship in India : Legal Status, at http://www.gangothri.org/?q=node/33

[6] Section 2 (f), Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

[7] Section 3, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

[8] Section 2 (k) read with section 20, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

[9] Section 50 and Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[10] Gokal Chand v. Parvin Kumari, AIR 1952 SC 231

[11] Supra note 3.

[12] (2006) 5 SCC 475

[13] Madan Mohan Singh v. Rajni Kant, (2010) 9 SCC 209

[14] AIR 1952 SC 231

[15] 1992 Supp (2) SCC 304

[16] Tulsa v. Durghatiya, (2008) 4 SCC 520

[17] S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal & Anr, AIR 2010 SC 3196

[18] “A married women in relation to her husband”, Catherine Soanes, Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 7th ed. 2007

[19] “Unmarried couples, including homosexuals, living together in long-standing relationships, who may be entitled to some of the same benefits as married people, such as job-related health plans”, Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill, at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Domestic+partners

[20] Supra note 3.

[21] (1988) 1 SCC 530

[22] 2000 Cr.L.J. 4170 (All)

[23] “The term ‘maintenance’ includes an entitlement to food, clothing and shelter, being typically available to the wife, children and parents. It is a measure of social justice and an outcome of the natural duty of a man to maintain his wife, children and parents, when they are unable to maintain themselves”, Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya v State of Gujarat and Others (2005) 3 SCC 636

[24] (2005) 3 SCC 636

[25] “ Estoppel.- When one person has, by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative, to deny the truth of that thing”, Section 115, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[26] Vimala v. Veeraswamy, (1991) 2 SCC 375

[27] AIR 2008 Del 7

[28] Suresh Khullar v. Vijay Kumar Khullar, AIR 2008 Del 7

[29] (2005) 2 SCC 33

[30] Vidyadhari v. Sukhrana Bai, (2008) 2 SCC238

[31] Supra note 3.

[32] (1985) 1 SCC 637

[33] AIR 2008 Mad 162

[34] Section 20 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 talks about monetary reliefs.

[35] “A relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family”, Section 2 (f), Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

[36] Pyla Mutyalamma v. Pyla Suri Demudu, (2011) 12 SCC 189

[37] (2008) 2 SCC 238

[38] “Birth during marriage, conclusive proof of legitimacy.- The fact that any person was born during the continuance of a valid marriage between his mother and any man, or within two hundred and eighty days after its dissolution, the mother remaining unmarried, shall be conclusive proof that he is the legitimate son of that man, unless it can be shown that the parties to the marriage had no access to each other at any time when he could have been begotten.”

[39] (2008) 4 SCC 520

[40] (2008) 2 SCC 238

[41] (2007) 10 SCC 30

[42] “The natural guardian of a Hindu minor, in respect of the minor’s person as well as in respect of the minor’s property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are- (a) in the case of a boy or unmarried girl- the father, and after him, the mother, provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother”, Section 6 (a), Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.

[43] Githa Hariharan v. RBI, (1999) 2 SCC 228

[44] “In the case of illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl- the mother, and after her, the father”, Section 6(b), The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.

[45] Section 13, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

[46] (2011) 11 SCC 1

[47] Parul Solanki Sharma, Live-In Relationship : A Comparative Approach, VSRD International Journal of Technical & Non-Technical Research, Vol. IV Issue VIII August 2013 e-ISSN : 0976-7967, p-ISSN : 2319-2216 at http://www.vsrdjournals.com/vsrd/Issue/2013_08_August/Web/6_Parul_Solanki_Sharma_2544_Research_Communication_VSRDIJTNTR_August_2013.pdf

[48] Varun, The Socio-Legal Dimensions of Live-In Relationships, available at http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/The-Socio-Legal-Dimensions-of-Live-In-Relationships-3966.asp#.UsXE0bShv4o

[49] Supra note 50.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ankur, Live-In relationships, at http://www.slideshare.net/ankur_sk/live-in-relationship

[52] http://www.leagle.com/decision/1986831178CalApp3d653_1788

[53] http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nj-supreme-court/1262631.html

[54] Live-in- Relationship in India, at http://www.krishnastudyacademy.com/legal-essays/295-live-in-relationship-in-india

[55] Supra note 50.

[56] The Section 25 (2) of the Act says that a court of law can consider a person as a co-habitant of another. The three essentials for declaring somebody cohabitant is the length of the period during which they lived together, the nature of the relationship during that period and the nature and extent of any financial arrangements. Whereas Section 28 of the said Act gives cohabitant the right to apply in court for financial support. This is in case of separation and not death of either partner. Furthermore if a partner dies intestate, the survivor can move the court for financial support from his estate within 6 months. Supra note 51.

[57] Supra note 50.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Bhumika Sharma, Live-In Relationships: The Indian Perspective, at http://www.indialawjournal.com/volume2/issue_2/article_by_saakshi.html

[60] Can live-in relationship be an alternative for marriage?, available at http://coastaldigest.com/index.php/coastal-exclusive/58-specials/37444-can-live-in-relationship-be-an-alternative-for-marriage

[61] Supra note 6.

[62] Supreme Court frames guidelines for determining live-in relationship, at http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/supreme-court-frames-guidelines-for-determining-live-in-relationship-453024

[63] Historic: Supreme Court approves live-in relationships, asks Parliament to enact law, at http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/historic-supreme-court-approves-live-in-relationships-asks-par-30912.html

image source: http://www.tiptoplifestyle.com/live-relationships-new-trend/

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