REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CRITERIA OF LIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS

“Law leans in favour of legitimacy

And frowns upon bastardy.”

The criteria for the requirements for the live-in relationships. These are called walk in walk out relationships, which is an alternative to marriage.  In the case of Alok Kumar v. the State[1], the Delhi High Court observed that live in relationship is walk in and walk out relationship. It does not create any legal obligations on the partners living together, and the other partner cannot go to approach the court alleging the other partner of any kind of infidelity. The couples are free from the legal bond of each other. The concept of a legal relationship was recognized to test the compatibility between each other before marriage. The requirements as mentioned are-[2]

  • Legal age to marry: It means that the parties have attained the minimum age criteria to get married, even if not getting married but choosing the option to stay in live in relationship
  • Qualify to enter legal age: It means that the parties have qualified their legal age and are adults. The legal age for girls is 18 and that for the boys is 21.
  • Must be unmarried: It means that even if they have qualified their age to get married, they are still unmarried.
  • Voluntary cohabitation should be considerable period: It means that the parties decide to cohabit together voluntarily and that too for a considerable period.
  • Shared household: It means that the parties share households when living under the same roof.
  • Pooling of resources and financial arrangement between parties: It means that the parties have a common pool of resources and the financial resources and they share the same among each other.
  • Domestic arrangements: It means that the domestic arrangement is such that the parties decide to share amongst themselves under the same roof living together.
  • Children: It means that, if a child is born out of the parties then the child would be considered as a legitimate one and both the parents would be equally responsible to him/her.
  • Socialization of relation in public: It means that the status of live in relationships in the society is still considered as a taboo and the public is not willing to accept it.

In the case of Badri Prasad v. Director of Consolidation[3], the court held the validity of 50 years live in relationship between the parties.[4] In another case of S.P.S Balasubramanyam v. Suruttayan alias Andali Padayachi[5], the Supreme court ruled out that if man and women living together under the same roof and cohabiting for several years, then there would be a “presumption of marriage” under section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 19872.

A noteworthy judgement was passed by the Allahabad high court when it comes to the legal age criteria of women to be qualified for the requirements for the criteria of live in relationship. In the case of Payal Sharma alias Kamla Sharma alias Pyal Katara v. Superintendent, Nari Niketan, Kalindri ViharAgra and others,[6]the court observed that the lady of 21 years of age is a major, has right to anywhere and can live with anyone. This may be regarded as immoral, but it is not illegal.

In another case of D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal[7], the Supreme Court ruled that merely spending weekends together or even a one-night stand would not be considered as the Domestic relationships. The court also made it clear that if a man is in live in arrangement with a woman, then neither of them can claim for the legal benefits of marriage.


[1] 5 Crl.M.C.No.299/2009 (India).

[2] Ibid.

[3] AIR 1978 SC 1557.

[4] Ibid.

[5] AIR 1992 SC 756.

[6] AIR 2001 Allahabad 254.

[7] (2010) 10 SCC 469.

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.

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