SC ordered protection to couple in live-in relationship
Live in relationship is a kind of relation where both partners are sharing their households and responsibilities towards each another without being married as prescribed under Marriage Act. There is no particular codified law for this type of relationship which defines “Live in relationship”. It includes continuous relation between the parties and does not involve any responsibilities or obligations towards each other. As it is not prescribed, the partners can withdraw this with mutual understanding or consent without involvement of court if both parties mutually agree.As there is no proper legal definition of live-in relationship and thus the legal status of such type of relationships is also not prescribed by law. However, Indian law does not provide any rights or obligations on the parties in live relationship. The status of the children born during such relationship is also not clear and therefore, various judgments has been passed by the court for this concept which court can follow as precedent and take further decision for any kind of amendment in this regard. The court has liberally stated that if any man and woman cohabiting for a long term will be assumed as legally married under the law unless proved contrary.In the case of Badri Prasad vs. Dy. Director of Consolidation, 1978 it was held by Justice Krishna Iyer that he presumes in favour of wedlock where a couple has lived together for a long time period they will be recognized as husband and wife by the society. Although this presumption is rebuttable, a heavy burden lies in him who seeks to deprive the relationship of its origin. Law is in favour of legitimacy and frowns upon bastardy. In this case the court gives validity to a couple living together for around 50 years. The Supreme Court of India said for the first time, that live in relationship is acceptable and recognized it as a valid marriage.There is a recent case GurwinderSingh v. The State Of Punjab: in which the Petitioner Gulza Kumari and GurwinderSingh asked for protection to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, as their lives are in threat by Gulza’s parents. Thepetitioner plea to the High Court.Dismissing the plea, the court said, “Asa matter of fact, the petitioners in the garb of filing the present petition are seeking seal of approval on their live-in-relationship, which is morally and socially not acceptable and no protection order in the petition can be passed.”But The Supreme Court of India orders for the protection to the couple in live-in-relationship after the High Court denied relief, as it is a concern of “Life and Liberty”.On 4th June 2021, a Division Bench comprising Justices NavinSinha and Justice Ajay Rastogi directed that this issue is affecting one’s life and liberty; police should act efficiently in the matter of threat faced by the couple.“Needless to state that since it concerns life and liberty, the Superintendent of Police is required to act expeditiously in accordance with law, including the grant of any protection to the petitioners in view of the apprehensions/ threats, uninfluenced by the observations of the High Court,” the Court ordered.As the above matter complies with constitutional principles so it is the duty of police to take appropriate action to give protection to the couple.