Live-in relationships, considered to be a taboo till a few years back, have now become an acceptable norm in various parts of the country, with even the Supreme Court according to it due to recognition.
Live-in relationships, considered to be a taboo till a few years back, have now become an acceptable norm in various parts of the country, with even the Supreme Court according to it due to recognition. However, a new question now troubles the apex court – does a man need to pay compensation to the woman after the relationship ends because of subsequent refusal of marriage.
HT has reported that the Supreme Court of India recently took up a court case on this matter, and also sought the Attorney General’s assistance. This came after a man approached the apex court after a criminal charge of rape was stashed against him by a woman he lived in for years, and then refused to marry. The woman filed a case against him which amounted to rape, as she alleged that they had sexual relationships on consideration of marriage, and not by free consent.
While the court stayed criminal charges against the man, the court sought to know whether because of “of the long cohabitation”, even if the man is not held guilty of rape, “civil liability” may be brought against him, as the relationship will be seen as a “de facto marriage”.
Advocate Yugandhara Pawar Jha, the man’s lawyer also confirmed this to HT, saying, “The court is considering a civil liability, as the case of a long cohabitation where a man and woman had a consensual relationship and the cohabitation did not end in a marriage or any criminal liability.”
Only a few year ago, the Supreme Court of India recognised live-in relationships in the country and stated that if a couple live like husband and wife for a prolonged duration and have children, then the court will judge them as married, and the woman will be eligible to inherit her husband’s property after his death.