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The court made the observations while delivering an order allowing bail to a man accused of raping his live-in partner | Representative image

Live-in relationship can’t provide security, stability of marriage: Allahabad HC

Court says in bail order that “brutish concept of changing partners every season cannot be considered the hallmark of a stable and healthy society”

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Live-in relationships cannot provide the security, social acceptance, progress, and stability that the institution of marriage provides to a person in India, the Allahabad High Court has observed. It added that women, especially, face social ostracization in the case of a breakup.

The court made these observations while delivering an order allowing bail to a man accused of raping his live-in partner. The order, delivered last Tuesday, was uploaded recently.

While allowing the bail, Justice Siddharth observed, “In the majority of cases, breakups take place between the couple. After a breakup, it becomes difficult for the female partner to face society.”

He went on to add, “The middle-class society does not look upon such separated female as normal. From social ostracization to indecent public comments become part of her post-live-in relationship ordeal. Then she somehow tries to get her live-in relationship with the male partner get converted into the relationship of marriage having social sanction.”

Court blames movies, TV soaps

The counsel for the applicant, Adnan, submitted that the victim, in her statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC, has admitted that she was in a (live-in) relationship with the applicant for a year and had physical relations with consent and got pregnant.

Thereafter, the applicant refused to marry her, and an FIR was lodged against him on her complaint. She also alleged that two more persons had raped her.

The court lamented that films and TV soaps are contributing to eradicating the institution of marriage. The infidelity to a partner in a married relationship and having a free live-in relationship are being shown as signs of a progressive society, it said.

“There is no dearth of cases coming to the courts where the female partner of an erstwhile live-in relationship commits suicide out of disgust caused by social ill behaviour,” it said.

“Brutish concept”

“The brutish concept of changing partners in every season cannot be considered to be the hallmark of a stable and healthy society. The security and stability, which the institution of marriage provides to an individual’s life, cannot be expected from a live-in relationship,” the court stated.

“A live-in relationship shall only be considered as normal after the institution of marriage becomes obsolete in this country, like in many of the so-called developed countries where it has become a big problem for them to protect the institution of marriage,” it added.

The counsel for the woman opposed the applicant’s bail prayer and submitted that according to the Class VIII school-leaving certificate, the victim is aged about 16 years and eight months.

However, the counsel for the applicant pointed out that according to the complainant’s ossification test report, she is 19 years of age. Therefore, she is major, a not minor.

‘There is no medical evidence against the applicant of committing an offence under Section 316 IPC. The applicant has been in jail since 18.4.2023 and has no criminal history,” the counsel argued.

The woman’s counsel has submitted that the applicant may be directed to marry the victim.

(With agency inputs)
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