Live-in Relationship: Laws | Criminal Defenses | Bail Grounds | Appeal | Landmark Cases
Recent judgements of the Supreme Court and High Court evince recognition of the live-in relationship by the law. In the recent order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Gurwinder Singh & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors. [SLP(Crl.) No. 4045/2021] granted protection of life and liberty to the live-in relationship couple who were denied such protection by the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court. Then, later same Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court granted protection of life and liberty to the couple of 18 years old and 21 years old in the case of Soniya and Ans. v. State of Haryana and Ors. [CRWP No.4533 of 2021 (O&M)].
Meaning of Live-in Relationship
Live-in relationship is nowhere defined in law. After going through the various judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Court it can be said that the courts have not made live-in relationship illegal although it is immoral for society. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Indra Sarma v. V. K. Sarma [Cri. Appeal No. 2009/ 2013] laid down the following factors to determine whether a live-in relationship is on par with the nature of marriage so that aggrieved woman in a live-in relationship can seek protection under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 and other related laws:
- Duration of Period of Relationship
- Shared Household
- Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements
- Domestic Arrangements
- Sexual Relationship
- Socialisation in Public
- Intention and Conduct of the Parties
The aforementioned factors are not exhaustive. The live-in relationship between a married person and an unmarried person would not be covered under such law.
Laws governing Live-in Relationship in India
No special law has been enacted by the Parliament regarding a live-in relationship which could give a special right to a female and a male in a live-in relationship. However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble High Courts in a catena of cases had held that the following laws will be applicable in some cases of live-in relationship:
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005: Section 2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 defines “domestic relationship” i.e., a couple who lives or has lived together under the same roof when they are related by marriage, consanguinity or through a relationship in nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had held that a phrase i.e., ‘through a relationship in nature of marriage’ used in a domestic relationship is wide enough to encompass the live-in relationship. Moreover, Section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 defines ‘Respondent’ and proviso with Section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 states that a female living in a relationship in nature of a marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner. Therefore, relief such as protection order, residence order, right to reside in a shared household, monetary relief, compensation order etc. may be invoked by the aggrieved woman who is in the live-in relationship under this act.
- Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872: The Court under section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is empowered to presume the existence of any fact which the court believes that has happened after considering the common course of human conduct, natural events and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.
- Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860: Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 defines ‘Rape’ and a portion of the definition states that any person, who commits sexual intercourse without consent and will of the female, shall be charged with Rape. Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 negatively defines consent as consent given by a person under fear of injury or misconception of facts, such consent will be vitiated and it shall be no consent as is intended by any section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.
- Outrage Modesty: Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 penalises any person who assaults or uses criminal force with the intention to outrage modesty of a woman. Such offence is punishable with imprisonment for one year to five years and with a fine. Modesty is an attribute associated with a female person. It is a virtue that attaches to a female owing to her sex. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Ram Kripal s/o Shyam Lal Charmakar v. State of Madhya Pradesh [Cri. Appeal No. 370/ 2007] had observed that the act of pulling a woman, removing her saree, coupled with a request for sexual intercourse, is such as would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman, and knowledge, that modesty is likely to be outraged is sufficient to constitute the offence without any deliberate intention of having such outrage alone for its object.
- Criminal Intimidation: Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 penalises whoever causes a threat to any person of grievous hurt or death, or to cause an offence punishable with imprisonment for life or death or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or impute unchastity to a woman. Such offence is punishable with imprisonment upto seven years or maybe also liable shall be liable for fine or both.
- Outrage Modesty using the word, gesture: Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 penalises whoever intends to outrage modesty of a woman using gesture, sound or exhibits any object and such gesture, sound or exhibit any object are being seen or heard by the woman. Such person shall be punishable with imprisonment upto three years and also with a fine.
- Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.: Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 penalise any person who kidnaps or abducts any woman intending to compel her or knowing that she will be compelled:
a. To marry any person against her will or
b. Force or seduce her to illicit intercourse,
Then, such person shall be punished with imprisonment for upto 10 years and with a fine.
Whoever through criminal intimidation under this code or abuse of any authority or any other means induces any female to go from any place intending or knowing that she may be forced or seduced to sexual intercourse with any another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid.
Procedure for the Prosecution of the Alleged Accused in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
Procedure to lodge the Complaint: Anywhere India, any person can take any of the following steps to complaint against any of the aforementioned offences:
Dial 100 or visit near Police Station under whose jurisdiction such offence is taking place and give information regarding aforementioned offence to the Officer in charge of that Police Station under Section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 confers the right to every person to furnish information to a local Police Station. The information is given under section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in either written or oral form.
If the Officer in charge of a Police Station refuses to act on the complaint, then under Section 154(3) Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 complaint in writing can be sent by post to the Superintendent of Police under whose jurisdiction offence of Gold Smuggling is taking place.
Stages of Trial: There are two kinds of trials i.e., Summon Trial and Warrant Trial. Sub-clause (w) and (x) of Section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), 1973 defines Summon case and warrant cases respectively. According to sub-clause (x) of Section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), 1973, offences that are punishable with death, imprisonment for life and imprisonment for a term exceeding 2 years are warrant cases. According to sub-clause (w) of Section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), 1973, cases that are not warranted triable are called Summon case.
Following are the steps of a Criminal Trial in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
- Framing of Charge: After consideration, examination and hearing, Magistrate forms charges. Then, the accused will be tried for such charges.
- Plea of Guilty: Accused will be asked whether they plead guilty or has a defenses to make. If the accused plead guilty, then he would be convicted guilty. But, if the accused does not plead guilty, then the court would proceed to hear prosecution.
- Evidence of Prosecution: The court will ask the Prosecution to put before it all evidence. It may also, on the application of Prosecution, issue summons to any witness directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing.
- Evidence of Defenses: The court will ask Defenses to put before it all evidence. It may also, on the application of Defenses, issue summons to any witness directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing. The Court under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 also has the power to examine the accused and the statement given by him is admissible which can be used as evidence to prove the charges. The burden of proof under all the above-mentioned Act lies on the defenses that he is completely innocent.
- Judgement of Acquittal or Conviction: After hearing both sides and considering all the evidence, Magistrate will acquit or convict the accused under section 248 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Criminal Defensess available to the Alleged Acused in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
- Live-in relationship with a married man: When an unmarried woman is in a relationship with a married man, such type of relationship is not protected by any laws in India. No matter how much time they have spent under the same roof. In such a type of relation, man is free to walk out of the relationship whenever he wants. But the condition is that such person should not have hidden any fact about his marriage or such live-in is led by the misconception of facts.
- Consent: Under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 consent of a woman for sexual intercourse should not be obtained under a misconception of fact such as a false promise of marriage. There is a difference between a false promise of marriage and a breach of promise. A false promise to marry is punishable under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 whereas a breach of promise due to some reason is not punishable under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Anurag Soni v. State of Chhattisgarh [Cri Appeal No. 629/ 2019] has held that if a prosecution proves that the consent for sexual intercourse was given by the victim only upon the promise made by the accused to marry her and also proves that the promise was made with mala fide intention, then such consent will be vitiated by the misconception of the fact and the court will presume under section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 that no consent is given for sexual intercourse and therefore the accused will not only be guilty of rape under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 but also for cheating under section 417 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.
- Suspension of Sentence by the Court: Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1872 provides for suspension of a sentence, if the accused is convicted, to give him time to prefer an appeal in the Appellate Court. If the offence is bailable or punishable with less than three years, then the court that is convicting the accuse may exercise power under the section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1872. But if the offence is punishable with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment for not less than 10 years, then in such case an appellate court may, after giving an opportunity to the public prosecutor of representation, suspend the sentence and release the convicted person on bail under section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1872.
- Application of Discharge: Under section 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 application for the discharge of the accused can be made by the accused to a trial court. A trial court may, after considering chargesheet presented before it by a police officer under section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973, examining the accused and hearing both the accused and the prosecution, discharge the accused and record his reason for doing so.
- Quashing of the First Information Report (FIR): The Hon’ble High Court under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is empowered to quash First Information Report (F. I. R.) to give effect to any order under section Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 or to prevent abuse of process of court or otherwise to secure end of justice. Expression “abuse of power of law” or “to secure end of justice” do not confer unlimited jurisdiction on the High Court.
- Medical Report of Victim: Medical examination of the victim of rape is mandatory under section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973. Such medical examination is conducted by the government medical practitioner. If such report does not disclose any commission of rape or no semen of the man is found on the body of a female or her clothes, then in such cases court may discharge the accused until the contrary is proved.
- Protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India: Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 protects a couple from the threat posed by the society and families of the couples. In the case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India [Cri. W. P. No. 76/ 2016], the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the right to sexual intimacy and sexual freedom is encompassed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950. Every person has the freedom to engage in sexual relations on their own terms and has an unhindered expression of love towards their partners. The Hon’ble Court further held Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 also encompasses the right to chose a partner of own choice.
- Suspension, Remission or commutation by the appropriate Government: The Appropriate Government is empowered under section 432 and section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 to suspend, remit or commute any sentence for an offence. Any person may present an application for suspending execution of sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment under section 432(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973. Then, the appropriate government may under section 432(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 after acceptance of conditions, if any, by the sentenced person suspend execution of sentence or remit whole or any part of the punishment. Under section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973, the appropriate government may commute the sentence of the sentenced person without his consent in the following:
a. A sentence of death may be commuted to any other punishment under the Indian Penal Code(IPC), 1860;
b. A sentence of imprisonment for life may be commuted to punishment for imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or for fine;
c. A sentence of rigorous imprisonment may be commuted to punishment for simple imprisonment, for as many years as a sentenced person sentenced for rigorous imprisonment, or for fine;
d. A sentence of simple imprisonment may be commuted for a fine.
- President power to grant Pardon, Reprieves, Respite or Remission: Article 72 of the Constitution of India, 1950 conders power to the President of India to pardon, reprieves, respite or remission to the sentenced person for the offence:
a. Triable by the martial court;
b. Relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
c. Punishable with death.
- Governor power to grant Pardon, Reprieves, Respite or Remission: Article 161 of the Constitution of India, 1950 confers power to the Governor of State to pardon, reprieves, respite or remission to the sentenced person for the offence relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends. In the case of Narayan Dutt v. State of Punjab [Civil Appl. No. 2058 OF 2011], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that any person can approach the Governor of the State to seek pardon, reprieves, respite or remission. But the only condition precedent is that any person approaching under Article 72 of the Constitution of India, 1950 shall be convicted of any offence relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
Provision regarding Bail in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
The accused could resort to following types of bail in case of arrest or pre-arrest:
- Anticipatory Bail: Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 confers special power to the Court of Session and the High Court to grant bail to the person before his arrest.
- Transit Bail: When a person perceive his arrest due to complaint or F. I. R. lodge in any other state other than native state, then in such case a person may file transit bail in the High Court or the Court of session seeking bail so that he can go to state where complaint or F. I. R. is lodged and seek appropriate relief from the competent court. This is judge made law. There is no provision related to transit bail in the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973. In the recent famous case of Shantanu Shivlal Muluk v. State of Maharashtra [965 Ant. Bail APP. No.154/2021] Crime No. 49/2021 was registered at Police Station, Special Cell, New Delhi, for the offence punishable under section 153-A and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code(IPC), 1860. The Hon’ble Maharashtra High Court granted 10 days Transit Bail to the accused so that he can seek appropriate relief from the competent court
- Regular Bail: According to section 437(1)(i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973, when an accused is arrested or detained by the police without a warrant and he is brought before the Magistrate, then such Magistrate may grant bail to the accused if prima facie there is no strong evidence against the accused. If such regular bail is refused by the Magistrate, then the accused can go before the Court of Session or the High Court invoking their special power under section 439(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973. No bail or bail bond or otherwise can be granted by the court under section 13(7) of the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (PITNDPSA), 1988 states against an order of detention under the said act.
- Default Bail: If Chargesheet is not filed under section 173(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 within 180 days of judicial custody, then the court may under section 167(2)(i)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 grant bail to the accused only if whatever evidence is gathered does not show prima facie commission of gold smuggling.
Grounds for Bail in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
Followings are the grounds of bail:
a. The enormity of the charge,
b. The nature of the accusation,
c. The severity of the punishment which the conviction will entail,
d. The nature of the evidence in support of the accusation,
e. The nature and gravity of the circumstances in which the offence is committed,
f. The position and status with reference to the victim and the witnesses,
g. The danger of witnesses being tampered with,
h. The likelihood of accused fleeing from justice,
i. Probability of the accused committing more offences,
j. The protracted nature of the trial,
k. Opportunity to the applicant for preparation of his defenses and access to his counsel,
l. The health, age and sex of the accused person.
Appeal in Cases of Live-in Relationships in India
- Appeal before Court of Session: Section 374(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 states that any person may prefer appeal to the court of session if he is found guilty on a trial held by:
a. Assistant Sessions Judge or Magistrate of the first class, or of the second class or Metropolitan Magistrate, or
b. sentenced under section 325 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973, or
c. against whom order has been passed or sentenced by any Magistrate under section 360 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973
- Appeal before High Court: Section 374(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 states that any person who is found guilty on a trial held by the Session Judge or Additional Session Judge or any other Magistrate and on such trial the court has passed sentence of imprisonment for more than seven years. Then, such a convicted person may appeal in the High Court.
- Special Leave Petition before Supreme Court: A Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, 1950 can be made to the Supreme Court of India. Article 136 confers power to the Supreme Court to provide special leave for appeal from any decree, judgment, sentence, determination, or order in any matter or cause passed or made by any tribunal or Court in the territory of India.
Top Ten Landmark Cases on Live-in Relationships in India
- Soniya and Ans. v. State of Haryana and Ors. [CRWP No.4533 of 2021 (O&M)] A girl, 18 years old, and a boy, 22 years old, love each other. They belong to different caste, so the parents of the girl were not ready to accept their relationship and forced her to marry another person who is much older than her age. That’s why she left her parental house and started living with the accused who she loves. They planned to live together in a live-in relationship and on attaining legal age of majority to solemnise their marriage. The parents of the girl were against this relationship and threaten the girl to do as they say otherwise there would be dire consequences. Thereafter, the couple moved to the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek protection under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 after their protection request was denied by the concerned Superintendent of Police. The Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court granted their protection request and held that a live-in relationship is not illegal. Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 gives the right to chose a partner as well as the right of intimacy and besides this, it also gives the right to life and liberty. If the state denies giving protection to the couple, then it would be a travesty of justice. Further held that issue of morality and criminality are not co-extensive.
- Gurwinder Singh & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors. [SLP(Crl.) No. 4045/2021] Petitioners, in this case, moved to the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, 1950 after being aggrieved by the decision of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court who denied protection to the live-in couple from threats to their life and stated that “if such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed.” The Hon’ble Supreme Court granted protection to the live-in couples and held that it is the duty of the state to protect the life and liberty of every individual, so the Superintendent of Police should have acted, uninfluenced by the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, expeditiously on the request of the petitioner and granted them protection.
- X v. State and Y [Crl. O. P. No. 932/ 2014] As per the prosecution, A woman, the complainant, who is a cinema actress of 30 years old meets the accused who introduced himself to the complainant as a financier of the cine field. Later, the complainant developed feelings for the accused and when the accused made the promise of marrying her, they consummate their relationship. They started living under one roof from 2008 and between 2008 and 2009 woman also conceived. Thereafter she insisted and requested the accused to marry her but the accused denied by saying that he is facing a loss of Rs. 12 lakhs in his business. Then, the complainant gave him Rs. 12 lakhs and later again gave Rs. 8.5 lakhs also executed pro note of paying same. The accused promised her to pay back with interest of 24% per annum. Thereafter accused deserted her. On enquiry, she found that he is a fraud and has done same thing with other ladies. The Hon’ble Madras High Court held that the complainant is mature enough to understand the consequence of her actions. She is very well aware of the facts that a live-in relationship is not accepted in our society and there is no law to protect the interest of a victim. Prima facie no case of rape and cheating is made and pro note only show the transfer of money which can maximum led to only to a civil suit. Hence, the Hon’ble Madras High Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused.
- Dr Dhruvaram Muralidhar Sonar v. State of Maharashtra and Ors. [Cri. Appeal No. 1443/ 2018] A man, the accused, and a woman, the complainant, work in a health centre where they met the first time. The complainant starts to develop feeling of love towards the accused. The complainant was a widow and need someone for support. Thereafter, they started living together. Sometimes they live at the accused place and sometimes they live together at the complainant place. They were in a live-in relationship and they both enjoy each other company. One day the complainant discovers that the accused had married some other woman. Thereafter, the complainant under section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 lodged F. I. R. under sections 375, 90 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (I. P. C.), 1860 and section 3(1)(x) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act), 1989. The Hon’ble Supreme Court quashed chargesheet and F. I. R. of the present case under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 and held that there is no prima facie evidence found to hold the charges against the accused. The apex court further held that there is a difference between a false promise to marry and a breach of promise. The former is punishable but later is not punishable because there might be developments of unforeseen events which may lead to a breach of promise. In the present case, the prosecution failed to prove that there was a misconception of facts.
- Anurag Soni v. State of Chhattisgarh [Cri. Appeal No. 629/ 2019] A woman, complainant, knew a man, accused, from 2009 and they love each other. The accused was a junior doctor at a government hospital whereas the complainant was a student of pharmacy in Bhilai. Families of both the accused and the complaint were aware of their relationship. After sometime the marriage of the accused was fixed and this fact was known to the complaint. One day, the accused called the complainant at his place and started to make sexual advances to which the complainant resisted but upon the assurance of marriage given by the accused, the complaint gave her consent for sexual intercourse. But later the accused retracted from his promise. Thereafter, F. I. R. under section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973 was lodged under sections 375, 90 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (I. P. C.), 1860. The Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the accused in this case as the prosecution was able to prove beyond doubt that promise of marriage made by the accused was mala fide though from the inception he had no intention to get married. The consent of the accused was a result of a misconception of fact under section 90 of the Indian Penal Code (I. P. C.), 1860 and the court will presume under section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 that no consent was given by the victim.
- Indra Sarma v. V. K. Sarma [Cri. Appeal No. 2009/ 2013] A woman, complainant, and a man, accuse, were in a relationship for approximately 12 years. Despite the accused was married and has two children and this fact was known to the complainant. Though the complainant was unmarried. This relationship was also in knowledge of the family of the accused and they opposed such a relationship from the beginning. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that concept of presuming a live-in relationship to be a marriage if it lasted long, will not apply in this case because the complainant was aware of the marital status and about his children. Moreover, such woman would be deemed as concubine or mistress under section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act (IEA), 1872.
- Unnikrishnan @ Chandu and Ors. v. State of Kerala [Crl. A. No. 62/ 2010] A woman, deceased, and a man, accused, were in love. So, the deceased eloped with the accused and started to live together under the same roof sans legal marriage. After four years, the deceased committed suicide by burning herself. Thereafter, the mother of the deceased lodged complaint under sections 498A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1872. The Hon’ble Kerala High Court acquitted the accused and held that section 498A does not apply in the case of a live-in relationship.
- Alok Kumar v. State and Ans. [Crl. M.C. No. 299/ 2009] As per the prosecution, the complainant, woman, and the accused, man, were in a live-in relationship for more than 5 years. The complainant was a divorced woman with a child and the accused was also married at the time of the live-in relationship and also has a child from that marriage. This fact was known to both of them. The complainant also stated in complainant that they consummated in London after the accused promised to marry her. One day the complainant got information that the accused was leaving the country with his fiancée. So, she went to IGI airport to remind him of his promise to marry and also to refresh his memories of their marriage. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court quashed the F. I. R. under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.), 1973. The Hon’ble court observed that in the complaint mentioned that the accused assaulted her in the visitor lounge but there is no visitor’s lounge in the airport. There is only a departure building where only a person with a ticket is allowed to enter and every gate of the departure building is manned by the guards, so there is no chance that the reported incident took place inside the departure building. So, such incident might have taken place where a taxi drop passengers outside the departure building. Secondly, the Hon’ble Court observed that as per the complaint, the incident took place at about 11:30 a.m. and F. I. R. was lodged at 4:00 p.m. after 4 hours though the police station was at one corner of the IGI airport. This means the delay in lodging F. I. R. was caused due to the time taken by the complainant to make the trap. Therefore, it appears that the complainant is using wrongly the process of justice to stop the accused from leaving the country.
- Aman Nugyal v. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr. [Crl. M.C. 4709/2016 & Crl.M.A. 19613/2016] As per the prosecution, the complainant, a woman, and the accused, a man, were introduced to each other by their common friend. Thereafter, they fall in love with each other. The complainant and the accused both were married and the accused has a child from his first marriage. The complainant knew while they were in a relationship that the accused has not divorced yet. But the accused has promised that he will divorce his first wife and then he will marry her. In April 2010, the accused informed the complainant that he has divorced. But later on April 5, 2011, the complainant discovered that he is still married to her first wife. Thereafter, their relation soured and eventually on August 2, 2011, the accused left for Africa abandoning her. Under section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV), 2005 proceedings were initiated against the accused in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate with prayer for various reliefs in nature of protection order (under Section 18), residence order (under Section 19), monetary reliefs (under Section 20), custody order (under Section 21) and compensation (under Section 22). Later on, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM), Gurgaon upon pre summoning inquiry issued a process against the accused of offences under Sections 376, 403 and 417 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court quashed proceeding under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV), 2005 and set aside all impugned order. The Hon’ble Court further observed the complainant is a 32 years old “dynamic woman” and “successful marketing and communications professional” employed with a multi-national corporation. She was also a highly educated, competent person and professionally qualified. She was assumably not gullible. She had a history of a failed marriage of her own. Therefore, she was mature enough to understand that to marry the accused, the accused has to divorce his first wife. Therefore, such a relationship will not come under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV), 2005.
- Tulsa and Ors. v. Durghatiya and Ors. [Civil Appl No. 648/ 2002] The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the present case held that children born out of the live-in relationship will be legitimate child. The essential condition for it should be that the parents must have acted in a way as they are husband and wife and they should live under one roof. The most important condition is that their relationship should not be a “walk-in and walk-out” relationship.
People have started to contemplate the live-in relationship as a great option to satisfy themselves of compatibility about the person whom they are marrying. The Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble High Court have also started to change their views about the live-in relationship that is very well evident from the cases such as Soniya and Ans. v. State of Haryana and Ors. [CRWP No.4533 of 2021 (O&M)] and Gurcharan Singh and Ors. v. State of NCT of Delhi [4560/ 1977] where the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court, respectively, grant protection of life and liberty to a live-in relationship couple. But there is no law to regulate such live-in relationship. Since there is a rise in acceptance to live-in relationship, so there will be a surge in conflict regarding the same and in the absence of any law to regulate such conflict there would be a lot of hue and cry. Therefore, to avoid and tackle such conflict government should enact a law to regulate the live-in relationship.
Authored By: Adv. Anant Sharma & Satwik Sharma