EFFECT AND PERSPECTIVE OF LIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS IN THE SOCIETY

“India is not quite a fertile ground for the cultivation of live in relationships; at least not as long as the strong roots of the age old ethics hold ground”

The concept of a live-in relationship has still not received the consent of the majority of people. Indian society still considers it a taboo. The majority of people still consider it as an immoral and improper relationship. The Supreme Court took the initiative and declared that the concept of live-in relationship is ought to be considered immoral but is not illegal.

Individual liberty and freedom are the essences of democracy and hence these two principles must be respected in any democratic society. Thankfully, the new generation is much more open-minded and broad-minded when it comes to live-in relationships and they have released that societal restriction must not harm the individual freedom and must be left to the individuals themselves to decide which practice is harmful and which are not.

Though the various judicial decisions have tried to accord legality to this concept and also to the protection of women and children but at present, there is a need to formulate a law that would clarify the concept.

 In India, marriages are considered as a sacrament. The husband and the wife are considered one in the eyes of law. The benefits of marriages come with lots of responsibility and then to avoid this traditional marriage, the concept of a live-in relationship was evolved. During the earlier times, the people were conservative by the idea and were not welcomed by them, the reason could be a stigma in the society, but now the society has openly started accepting this concept though at a much slower pace.

In the case of Khushboo v. Kanniammal and Anothers[1], the Supreme Court observed that a man and woman living together are not illegal in the eyes of law, even if it may be considered immoral by the society. The court observed that “Morality and Criminality” are not co-extensive. Therefore, it was stated by the court that living together is ‘Right to life’ and is not illegal.

In another case of Lata Singh v. State of UP and another[2], the court itself notices that what law sees no crime may be still be considered as immoral.it has said that two consenting adults engaging in sex is not an offense in law “even though it may be perceived as immoral.”

A society is formed culture, traditions, moral values, etc as they act as the foundation pillars and the society is said to be ruined when its culture is ignored. Unfortunately, western culture is uprooting the Indian culture. Thus, the concept of live-in relationships is not a crime, but may still be against Indian tradition, culture, ethics, and moral values, etc in India.

Therefore, it can be stated that although Indian society is not open to live-in relationships still such relationships exists. And the individuals involved in such relationships should not be denied the protection of law simply because there is no specific legislation regarding it. Certainly, the rights here are majorly concerning the female partner, but even the constitution itself under Article 15(3) provides the state with the power to make laws that provide special treatment to women. But what is being asked here is not even special treatment but equal and justified protection of laws to the persons living in judicially accepted relationships.

Even the Supreme Court, in reference to the concept of live-in relationship, has said that “Adult couples can live together without marriage.” [3]

The bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan agreed with these contentions, and observed:

Even if they were not competent to enter into wedlock (which position itself is disputed), they have the right to live together even outside wedlock. It would not be out of place to mention that ‘live-in relationship’ is now recognised by the Legislature itself which has found its place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005[4]


[1] AIR 2010 5 SCC 600.

[2] (2006) 5 SCC 475.

[3] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/adult-couple-can-live-together-without-marriage-supreme-court/articleshow/64053236.cms?from=mdr. March 31, 2020.

[4] https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/you-could-be-too-young-for-marriage-but-old-enough-for-a-live-in-relationship-reminds-supreme-court-laws-you-should-know-1228325-2018-05-07.  March 31, 2020.


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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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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