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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4:38 am

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Live-in relationship’s legal stance.

Live-in relationship’s legal stance.
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Regarding Muslims and live-in partnerships, what ruling did the Allahabad High Court make?

Earlier this month, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court declared that a Muslim who has a surviving spouse is not eligible to claim rights in a live-in relationship. A two-judge panel of Justices A.K. Srivastava and A.R. Masoodi declared that such a connection was against Islamic principles when they were considering a writ suit filed by Sneha Devi and Mohammed Shadab Khan. Mr. Khan and Ms. Devi had filed a police protection request after the woman’s parents filed a kidnapping case against him.

Scenario:

The couple claimed before the court that they were adults living together and that they were requesting protection under Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal freedom. However, the courts declared that live-in partnerships are prohibited by Islamic precepts during a marriage that is still in existence. In the event when both individuals are single and major decide to live alone, the situation may be different. By the way, Mr. Khan has been wed to a woman named Farida Khatoon since 2020.

“Such a marriage may be saved by constitutional morality, and protection under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution may intervene to uphold the cause, superseding social morality that has been established through centuries of conventions and usages. The court noted that “the case before us is, however, different” and that “such a right would not lend an un-canalized support to the constitutional protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

Previous ruling:

In recent times, the judiciary has been paying close attention to live-in relationships that involve factors like the spouses’ marital status, their possible differing religious beliefs, the birth of children, and even separation. While only Mr. Khan was married in the instance of Ms. Devi and him, both spouses were married but living together outside of marriage in another example from the previous year.

Last November, the Supreme Court suspended lower court and Gujarat High Court orders awarding maintenance to a woman from her partner. A Surat-based man contested the High Court judgement, claiming that their cohabitation was not considered domestic because they were both married to other persons at the time. Despite their ongoing marriages, they moved in together in 2012 and later had a daughter. The woman sought protection under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, after her live-in relationship failed. She requested maintenance.

In the same month, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that a couple living together without obtaining a divorce from their former spouse is not considered a “live-in relationship” or arrangement akin to marriage. The court ruled that such an arrangement violates Sections 494/495 of the Indian Penal Code, indicating bigamy. In this instance, the man was already married. The court denied the pair protection, citing the male partner’s lusty and adulterous behaviour with the female partner without a proper divorce from his prior spouse.

What rulings have the courts made regarding live-in relationships?

There are no laws in India that specifically address cohabitation. According to the Supreme Court, cohabiting is now considered a part of “the right to life” for men and women, meaning that living together is no longer considered an affair.

The judiciary will presume that a man and a woman are married and that their relationship is governed by the same laws if they live together as husband and wife for an extended period of time and have children, according to the Supreme Court’s numerous rulings. The Allahabad High Court acknowledged the existence of a live-in relationship when it decided in Payal Sharma versus Nari Niketan, ruling that a man and a woman could live together even if they choose not to be married. Though it may not be legal, society may view this as immoral. Morality and the law are not the same thing.

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 

 


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