Recognition of concept :Of late the Apex Court in India has recognized the concept of live-in-relationship . What in legal parlance is meant by this relationship ? Now the wiling partners irrespective of any religion, caste or creed can join and live with a partner of his or her choice. After having lived as per the terms of agreement, the partners can separate from each other without any sort of liabilities of the sharing partners. The idea of “ live-in-relationship” has commonly been recognized as “ easy to walk-in & easy to walk –out” sort of arrangement. What used to be immoral in the earlier past has now been stamped with legality. The Supreme Court has given recognition to this flexible concept keeping in view the changing patterns in India Societies. This relationship has been recognized as a step short of marriage. If the partners are willing to continue the relationship for a healthy length of time , it can assume the status of marriage though in the initial stages it was never meant to ne marriage by the sharing partners.
Legal Implications: The willing partners still share the house-hold in the domestic relationship and are almost governed by same set of legal principles as in case of marriage . Law relating to maintenance, legitimacy of the children, devolution of property whether testate or intestate have been made applicable to “ live-in-relationship” partners also by judicial pronouncements of the Highest Court. The Court has provided a via media or a way out for easy separation in case there is no compatibility between the willing partners. This way has been provided by the Courts to save the lives of the people which used to be wasted through litigations because in the earlier set-up, once you get married you could only be separated by recourse to a court of law which used to take decades for deciding the disputes. There was no point in continuing such marriages which had already broken down & there was no possibility of reconciliation between the warring spouses . Cases are abundant when the matters were pending in the courts. Possibility of extra marital relationships were not ruled out due to longevity in decision making by the Courts. In the modern day times with access made so easy , the concept got recognition with a sigh of relief for those who are not willing to continue the domestic relationship further. The law and the Courts have not restrained them from separating from each other & to have further continuance of relationship with a new partner. The recognition of live-in-relationship by the Courts can be covered under yet another significant right recognized under our Constitution namely “ Right to Privacy” under its Art. 21 by which is meant that the sharing partners have their inviolate personality & have been left free in decision making without State interference .
Need of the time : With the recognition of live-in-relationship by the Courts in India, the institutions of marriages in all the religions have received a big set back. Despite its recognition by the Apex Court, full absorption of the concept in all sections of the society will remain a cherished dream. For the time being this relationship may serve only the higher echelons of society . No doubt law is plays a very important role in social change . Need of the day is a separate comprehensive law on the subject covering all aspects of the relationship & keeping in mind the all ages. Indian Society in the past is known for suffering in marital relations & effort had been made to continue the marital ties with a firm dedication that the marriage relationship ought not to break come whatever may. But with this the recognition of principle of live-in-relationship by the Courts in India , plurality of sexual relationships are not ruled out . All –in-all , it is a big set back to & quite in opposition to the “sacrosanct “ view of Hindu life.