The brawl of Live-in Relationships.

Live in relationships and the law
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Society evolves incredibly. In its customs, beliefs, traditions, and mentality, the evolutionary difference relative to its preceding times is as wide as the distance between land and sky.Let us go back to the times when the brides were not even allowed to see their life partners till the marriage. They were destined because of the societal practices to live their whole life with the person they never knew.
However, society inculcated liberal thoughts for the greater good. Things got changed, people adopted new ways, the influencing powers of different cultures acted, and here we are. The courts are engaged in addressing concerns related to Live-in relationships.The recent judgment by the Haryana court dismissing the petition plea of protecting live-in couples has invited many debates and discussions. The couple was threatened with their life by the members of the girl’s family.
There had been different declarations by different judges of the Punjab and Haryana court over the same. Earlier in a similar case of the couple seeking protection for their life, the bench agreed to provide it. Besides finding the rationality of this underlying difference there is a lot to be decoded. The Hon’ble Supreme Court did validate the Live-in relationships in the case of S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal in 2010. Although live-in relationships have got legal support it would not be wrong to say that Indian society has got a long journey to travel in accepting the concept of the live-in couple.
The phrase used by Justice HS Madan that a live-in-relationship is morally or socially not acceptable is a clear testimony of the above fact. Although it cannot be ignored that it is legal what the court needs to keep in check and not the morality or social acceptance. Whether the live-in relationship is right or wrong according to Indian norms is a discussion for some other time. The real question is should a person be stripped of his fundamental right, the right to live for something immoral and socially unaccepted but legal. Article 21 speaks about the right to life. As any citizen of the country, if he feels a threat to his life for some conduct that is legal, the court should ensure the safety of the same without any circumstantial denying.
We do see here a conflict of social intolerance and constitutional legality of the Live-in relationship. Above all lies, precious human life, and that cannot be put under threat for something legal. This calls for a deep revolution in the minds of the people that someone cannot be chased and scared of life for living as a couple without a marriage. The court is bound by its duty to ensure the safety enshrined in Article 21 to any citizen who knock its door.

2 thoughts on “The brawl of Live-in Relationships.”

  1. Very well written Ranjan. The basic articles of constitution do give a strong support to complete liberty of one’s choice of life. Along with this the court in the relevant cases tries to maintain the norms of the societal customs and sacraments to keep the western thoughts from engulfing the youth’s brain. There is a need to keep balance between the two at any cost, although sometimes any one of them may weigh more than the other.

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