New Delhi: In a landmark judgement with wide ramifications on marriage laws prevalent in India, the Supreme Court of India today said, live-in relationship was nor a crime, not a sin, and Parliament should enact law to regulate live-in relationship and amend Domestic Violence Act too.
In the landmark judgement, a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan framed guidelines for bringing live-in relationship within the expression ‘relationship in the nature of marriage' for protection of women from Domestic Violence Act.
“Parliament has to ponder over these issues, bring in proper legislation or make a proper amendment of the Act, so that women and the children, born out of such kinds of relationships be protected, though those types of relationship might not be a relationship in the nature of a marriage,” the bench said.
The apex court formulated the following guidelines relating to live-in relationship on following points:
1) Duration of period of relationship
Section 2(f) of the DV Act has used the expression “at any point of time”, which means a reasonable period of time to maintain and continue a relationship which may vary from case to case, depending upon the fact situation.
2) Shared household
The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.
3) Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements
Supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor.
4) Domestic Arrangements
Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or upkeeping the house, etc. is an indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage.