The candid and well-articulated order delivered by the Delhi High Court on the definition of a live-in relationship should be a guiding principle for the prospective people who wanted to enter this stop-gap arrangement for their temporary benefits.
The High Court in its order has categorically said that a partner in a live-in relationship can walk out of it without any legal consequences and people cannot complain of infidelity of partners if one of them ditches the other. ‘Live-in relationship is a walk-in and walk-out relationship. There are no strings attached to this relationship nor does this relationship creates any legal bond between the parties’, Justice S N Dhingra said while quashing criminal proceedings initiated by a woman against her live-in partner after he refused to marry her.
“Those who do not want to enter into this kind of relationship of walk-in and walk-out, they enter into a relationship of marriage where the bond between the parties has legal implications and obligations and cannot be broken by either party at will,” the court said.
There is no locus standi for any partner to move court in this manner as people who chose to have live-in relationship cannot complain of infidelity or immorality as live-in relationships are also known to have been between a married man and unmarried woman or between married woman and unmarried man.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by a London-based lawyer, against whom a criminal complaint was filed by a lady with whom he had live-in relationship, seeking to quash proceeding against him. The petitioner, Alok Kumar, submitted that he refused to marry the woman as his parents were against the relationship. Granting relief to Kumar, the court said the FIR should be quashed to prevent misuse of criminal justice system for personal vengeance of a partner of live-in relationship.
The court’s comments that the live-in relationship is a contract of living together which is renewed everyday by the parties and can be terminated by either of the parties without consent of the other party and one party can walk out at will at any time is quite right as while entering the relationship there is no legal binding on either of them.
After all why they enter into such a relationship which has no legal status in our country. If they wanted to enter a relationship which is legally binding, there is an alternative in the form of marriage. Instead of doing that, these so-called socialites first enter the relationship for their parochial benefits, without caring for the criticism from the society as well as the family.
I think they have no reason to complain. The court verdict should be welcomed.