Socio-Legal Aspect of Live in Relationships in India


India has been known for its democracy and family system. Generally, people are considerably attached to their families and therefore the topmost priority of each ideal Indian is his family. The most reason is that the quite faith and respect people have for marriage. The social institution of marriage is that the biggest strength of this diversified country. Regardless of faith, people regard marriage as an integral a part of their lives and believe that moral values and traditions are to be followed and preserved for a healthy society. In earlier days, marriages were fixed by parents and elders of the joint family. Modern Indian families are nuclear as most of the people migrate to urban areas for education and livelihood. 

There’s no iota of doubt that this generation is highly talented and play an important role within the development of the country. Through the arrival of Liberalisation, Privatization and Globalisation have significantly enhanced the economic position of the Indians but has equally weakened the social organization of marriage and family in India. The influence has gone to such an extent that people now are becoming married late thanks to higher expectations in relationships and therefore the saddest part is that youngsters lately aren’t curious about marriage and are gradually shifting towards live-in-relationships. Living together has become more a fashion and non-committed way of relationship which has serious implications on the status and rights of girls and youngsters as they lack legal and social recognition within the society. India remains looked upon by the planet as a rustic where marriage occupies a sacramental position both philosophically and practically. Thus the thing of this paper is to bring out the impact of live-in relationships within the light of judicial decisions in India.

Legal status of live-in relationships in India

As far because the Indian judiciary cares, the understanding of marriage and therefore the notion of live-in relationship has gradually moved from the normal view to the fashionable lifetime of the changing society. Live-in relationships are gaining momentum especially amongst the educated and economically viable groups conscious about their rights. There are serious concerns about such changing trends within the society i.e., the rights and obligation which such couples have towards one another and therefore the status of youngsters born out of such a tie exudes a blurred shadow. No law on the topic has been formulated. The law is adumbrated within the courtrooms via myriad cases. When it involves live-in-relationships, within the recent past the court attended presume marriage based on the amount of years of cohabitation.

Before independence in A.Dinohamy v.WL Blahamy the Privy Council laid down a broad rule postulating that, “Where a man and a woman are proved to have lived together as a man and wife, the law will presume, unless the contrary be clearly proved, that they were living together in consequence of a valid marriage and not in a state of concubinage.”

After independence the first case that can be reviewed is Badri Prasad v. Dy. Director of Consolidation ,wherein the Supreme Court recognised live-in-relationships as valid marriage, putting a stop to questions raised by authorities on the 50 years of life in relationship of a couple.

In Kushboo vs Kanniammal the opinion of the Supreme Court has further provided a positive impetus to live-in- relationships. The case of the prosecution was that the comment of the actress Khushboo allegedly endorsing pre-marital sex will adversely affect the moral fabric of society. A three judge bench comprising of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B.S. Chauhan observed, “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 further said “Please tell us what is the offence and under which section. Living together is a right to life”, thereby referring to the right to life guaranteed under Article 21. However, this position is not all binding.


The idea of live-in-relationships could seem to be very unique and appealing but actually, the
problems likely to arise are many and challenging. Encouraging live-in-relationships within the existing circumstances will invite problems like bigamy, multiple-partner relationships which can destroy the social fabric of this country. The status of the ladies in such a relationship isn’t that of a wife and lacks social approval or sanctity. the probabilities of exploitation of girls in such relationships are going to be on rising thanks to the absence of law. One among the studies reveals that the probabilities of couples begetting children are very less as couples usually prefer to not have children. On the opposite hand, couples having children and not continuing the relationship will adversely affect the interest of the youngsters thanks to a scarcity of affection and parental care. a rise in litigation on matters concerning maintenance, legitimacy of youngsters , inheritance etc is another area of great concern. It’s true that society must change consistent with changing times but at an equivalent time, it shouldn’t compromise with the moral values and traditions of the society within the name of modernisation. Hence, the need of the hour is to teach and enlighten this generation about the important importance of marriage and family. This can be possible only the oldsters respect the emotions and aspirations of their children and provide them the freedom of choice in their marriage.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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