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Declare live-in relationships or face jail up to 6 months, states Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami presented the bill in the House. In a symbolic gesture, he entered the Assembly with an original copy of the Constitution.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 06, 2024 16:19 IST
Live in relationships
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Representational image

Uttarakhand: The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill -- which proposes uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens irrespective of their religion in Uttarakhand -- was tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The bill proposes that anyone who is entering into a live-in relationship within the state, irrespective of whether they are residents of Uttarakhand or not, will have to submit a statement of their live-in relationship.

The bill under Part 3 'Submission of statement by partners to a live-in relationship' says: 

  1. It shall be obligatory for partners to a live-in relationship within the State, whether they are residents of Uttarakhand or not, to submit a statement of live-in relationship under sub-section (1) of section 381 to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction they are so living.
  2. Any resident(s) of Uttarakhand staying in a live-in relationship outside the territory of the State may submit a statement of live-in relationship under sub-section (1) of section 381 to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction such resident(s) ordinarily resides.

Children in a live-in relationship 

According to the UCC, any child of a live-in relationship shall be a legitimate child of the couple.

When not to register a live-in relationship?

A live-in relationship between two persons shall not be registered:

  1. Where the partners are within the degrees of prohibited relationship as defined under clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 3.
  2. Provided that the prohibitions will not apply to person(s) whose customs and usage permit the relationship, if it were a marriage;
  3. Provided further that such customs and usage are not against the public policy and morality, or,
  4. Where at Ieast one of the persons is married or is already in a live-in relationship: or,
  5. Where at least one of the persons is a minor: or,
  6. Where the consent of one of the partners was obtained by force, coercion, undue influence, misrepresentation or fraud as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the other partner, including his-her identity. 

Registration regarding live-in relationship under clause (a) of sub-section (4) of section 381 shall be only for the purposes of record.

Submission of statement of termination of live-in relationship

Both partners to a live-in relationship, or either of them, may terminate it and submit a statement of termination in the prescribed format and in the prescribed manner to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction such resident(s) ordinarily resides, and provide a copy of such statement to the other partner in case only one of the partners terminates the live-in relationship.

Offences and punishment  

According to the Uttarakhand UCC:

  1. Whosoever stays in a live-in relationship for more than one month from the date of entering into such relationship without submitting the statement of such relationship under sub-section (1) of section 381 shall be punished on conviction by a Judicial Magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or with both.
  2. Any person who makes any averment in the statement of live-in relationship submitted under sub-section (1) of section 381 which is false and which she/he knows or has reason to believe to be false, or withholds any material fact therefrom affecting the decision of the Registrar whether to register such live-in relationship or refuse to do so, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees, or with both.
  3. Any partner to a live-in relationship who fails to submit the statement of live-in relationship on being required by a notice to do so under section 386 shall be punished on conviction by a Judicial Magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine not excecding twenty-five thousand rupees or with both.

What is the procedure for registration of live-in relationship?

  1. Partners in a live-in relationship, or persons intending to enter into a live-in relationship, shall submit a statement of live-in relationship to the Registrar concerned in such format and in such manner as may be prescribed.
  2. The Registrar shall examine the contents of the statement of live-in relationship so submitted and satisfy herself/himself by conducting a summary inquiry that the live-in relationship is not of such a kind as is mentioned under section 380.
  3. In conducting summary inquiry under sub-section (2), the Registrar may summon the partners/persons or any other person for verification in the prescribed manner and require the partners/persons to supply additional information or evidence, if necessary.
  4. After conducting such summary inquiry as may be deemed appropriate, the Registrar shall, within thirty days of the receipt of the statement of live-in relationship under sub-section (1), either-
  • (a) enter such statement in a prescribed register for registering the live-in relationship, and issue a registration certificate in the prescribed format to the partners/persons; or
  • (b) refuse to register such statement, in which case the Registrar shall inform the partners/persons of the reasons in writing for such refusal.

Maintenance

If a woman gets deserted by her live-in partner, she shall be entitled to claim maintenance from her live-in partner for which she may approach the competent Court having jurisdiction over the place where they last cohabited, and in such a case the provisions contained in Chapter - 5, Part - 1 of this Code (UCC) shall mutatis-mutandis apply.

Uttarakhand UCC Bill, which was tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday, will now be debated in the before being passed. Once it becomes an act, Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country after Independence to adopt the UCC. It has been operational in Goa since the days of Portuguese rule.

ALSO READ | Uniform Civil Code: Pushkar Singh Dhami tables UCC Bill in Uttarakhand Assembly

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