Apex court asks Parliament to amend law regarding live-in relationships
The Supreme Court has asked Parliament to introduce appropriate 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.
As per apex court, children born out of such relationships suffer the most, which calls for bringing in remedial measures by the Parliament, through proper legislation.
According to court, though live-in relationship has not been accepted in India, it is neither illegitimate nor a sin. It further said relationship as a concubine, though not a relationship in the nature of a marriage, may at times, deserves protection because that woman might not be financially independent, but the DV Act, in its current form, is not concerned about such relationships which may perhaps necessitate an amendment of the definition of Section 2(f) of the DV Act, which is restrictive and exhaustive.
What was the case in point?
The apex court bench was hearing a case in which the appellant (female) had a live-in relationship with the respondent (male) who was already married with two children. She maintained the relationship for about 18 years and claimed maintenance amount under the DV Act. A trial court awarded Rs. 18,000 a month and this was upheld by a sessions court. However the Karnataka High Court set aside the order. The present appeal is directed against this ruling. The SC quashed the appeal and denied to interfere with the High Court order since the appellant was aware that the respondent was married when the relationship began.
While the court held that if it granted the relationship between the appellant and the respondent the status in the nature of a marriage, it would be an injustice to the legally wedded wife and children who opposed that relationship, it also pointed out that as a consequence of this, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent in connection with that type of relationship, would not amount to ‘domestic violence’ under Section 3 of the DV Act.”