PROTECTION AGAINST EXPLOITATION BY WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN LIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS –

1. MAINTENANCE OF WOMEN

Since no remedy is granted to women involved in a live-in relationship, Indian Courts have widened the scope of maintenance under the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, Section- 125 of CRPC  has been provided to give a legal right of maintenance to lady partners in or out of a marriage.

 In the recent case of Ajay Bharwaj v. Jyotsana, the court awarded a sum of 40 lakhs as maintenance to the women in a live in relationship. The court also referred  to the 2003 report of the Malimath Committee, ‘Reforms in the Criminal Justice System,’ that recommended that the that the word ‘wife’ in section 125 CrPC should be amended to include a woman, who is living with a man like his wife for a considerable amount of time. In furtherance of the recommendation of the National Commission for women to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the court upheld that the women can seek maintenance under Sec 125 CrPC, 1973, in the case of Abhijit Bhikaseth Auti v. State of Maharashtra and others.

In order to get maintenance, the essential four conditions are:

  • The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses.
  • They must be of legal age to marry.
  • They must be otherwise qualified to enter a legal marriage.
  • They must be voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period.

In the recent case of Ajay Bharwaj v. Jyotsana, the court awarded a sum of 40 lakhs as maintenance to the women in a live in relationship. The court also referred  to the 2003 report of the Malimath Committee, ‘Reforms in the Criminal Justice System,’ that recommended that the that the word ‘wife’ in section 125 CrPC should be amended to include a woman, who is living with a man like his wife for a considerable amount of time.                                       

In furtherance of the recommendation of the National Commission for women to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the court upheld that the women can seek maintenance under Sec 125 CrPC, 1973, in the case of Abhijit Bhikaseth Auti v. State of Maharashtra and others.

2. STATUS OF CHILDREN

As compared to marriages, the children born from live in relationship are questioned. Sec 112 of evidence act recognizes legitimate child, which states that child born from the continuance valid marriage between mother and father.

But in case of Tulsa v. Durghatiya, the Supreme Court awarded legal status to the children born from a live in relationship. Nevertheless, the court in the case of Dimple Gupta v. Rajiv Gupta, held in furtherance of the above stated view that children from live in relationships have the right to maintenance.

The Supreme Court held that a newborn out of a live-in relationship is not entitled to claim inheritance in Hindu ancestral coparcenaries property and can only claim a share in the parent’s self- acquired property.

In view of sec 16 of hindu marriage act, the illegitimate children, for all practical purposes, including succession to the properties of their parents, have to be treated as legitimate. They cannot, however, succeed to the properties of any other relation on the basis of this rule, which in its operation, is limited to the properties of the parents.

And lastly, the couples of live-in relationships cannot adopt children. No legal statute support them for the same. But, in central adoption resource authority has restricted that couples can not adopt child when in a live in relationship.

Thus, live in relationships are more widely accepted in foreign land. But in India, the social stigma goes against the individual way of living. Though, cohabitated relationships have gained legal acceptance in India, but no proper law and procedures are fixed.

Therefore, live in relationship are not illegal in the eyes of law but till date the concept is considered immoral. Only to safeguard women, and children born from this relationship, few amendments are made in existing laws.

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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