Kerala High Court
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Kerala High Court: While adjudicating a divorce case, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas*, JJ., raised concern about the rise of live-in-relationships just to say goodbye when they fall apart. Expressing concern about the alarming increase of divorce cases in the State, the Court remarked,

“The wails and screams coming out of disturbed and destroyed families are liable to shake the conscience of the society as a whole. When warring couples, deserted children, and desperate divorcees occupy the majority of our population, no doubt it will adversely affect the tranquillity of our social life, and our society will have a stunted growth.”

A husband, who lost his case for divorce on the ground of matrimonial cruelties had approached the Court to assail the Family Court's order. The husband appellant contended that though they were leading a very cordial and smooth marital relationship till 2018, thereafter the respondent developed some behavioural abnormalities, and she often picked up quarrels with him for no reason. He further alleged that because of the indifferent, abusive, and violent behavior of his wife (the respondent herein), he became mentally stressed and physically ill.

Mental Cruelty

The Court, on analysing the facts and evidence, found that the appellant failed to prove the allegations of cruelty against the respondent so as to dissolve their marriage for the following reasons:

  • As a responsible husband, the appellant was bound to know the reason for such behavioural changes in his wife, whether it be physical, mental, or psychological. He has no case that he ever took his wife to a psychologist or psychiatrist to know the reason for her behavioural abnormalities.

  • The appellant did not disclose/admit that the couple had a love marriage, though his own mother and his own close relative admitted that fact before Court.

  • According to the respondent, her marital life with the appellant was so smooth till 2018 and thereafter, he was trying to avoid her and her children.

  • The mother and close relatives of the appellant categorically deposed that in the year 2017, the appellant developed some illicit intimacy with a lady named Anjali, and thereafter, he wanted to avoid his wife, children, and even his own mother.

  • In such a scenario, the normal human reactions or responses from a wife, on knowing that her husband was having illicit connection with another lady, could not be termed as behavioural abnormality or cruelty from the part of the wife, so as to dissolve their marriage.

  • The appellant was not hesitant, even to question the chastity of his own aged mother, as she was supporting the respondent.

In the light of the aforesaid, the Court opined that the appellant wanted to avoid the respondent and her children to continue his unholy alliance with another woman. The Court noted,

“When the wife had reasonable grounds to suspect the chastity or fidelity of her husband, and if she questions him, or expresses her deep pain and sorrow before him, it cannot be termed as a behavioural abnormality, as it is the natural human conduct of a normal wife.”

Hence, rejecting the appellant's case on the ground of mental cruelty, the Court said,

Courts cannot come to the aid of an erring person to legalise his activities, which are per se illegal. If the husband having unholy alliance with another woman wants to avoid his lawfully wedded wife and his three little children, he cannot seek the assistance of a court of law to get his present relationship legalised by dissolving his lawful marriage, without any valid reasons for the same.”

Non-Cohabitation as a Ground for Divorce

Similarly, considering the respondent's willingness to save the marriage and resume her marital life with her husband, the Court rejected the appellant's case on the ground of non-co-habitation for a long time. The Court relied on Uthara v. Dr.Sivapriyan, 2022 SCC OnLine Ker 921, to hold that non-co-habitation however long it may be, if it was due to deliberate avoidance or due to pendency of cases filed by one party, the other party cannot be found fault with, when that party is still ready to continue his/her matrimonial life, and no grounds recognized by law are established against that party to break their nuptial tie.

Verdict

Emphasizing on the present trend to break the nuptial tie on flimsy or selfish reasons, or for extra-marital relationships, even unmindful of their children, the Court said,

“Now-a-days, the younger generation thinks that marriage is an evil that could be avoided to enjoy free life without any liabilities or obligations. They would expand the word ‘WIFE' as ‘Worry Invited For Ever' substituting the old concept of ‘Wise Investment For Ever'.”

The Court noted that law and religion consider marriage as an institution by itself and parties to the marriage are not permitted to walk away from that relationship unilaterally, unless and until they satisfy the legal requirements to dissolve their marriage through a court of law or in accordance with the personal law which govern them.

Hence, considering that the respondent still wants to live with her husband and live together along with their children, the Court directed that if the appellant is ready to come back to his wife and children, they are ready to accept him, it could not be said that the chances of an amicable reunion are foreclosed forever.

Resultantly, the Court upheld the finding of the Family Court that the appellant is not entitled to a decree of divorce on the ground of matrimonial cruelties.

[Libin Varghese v. Rajani Anna Mathew, Mat. Appeal No. 456 of 2020, decided on 24-08-2022]

*Judgment by: Justice Sophy Thomas


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mathew Kuriakose, J. Krishnakumar (Adoor), and Moni George, Advocates, Counsels for the Appellant;

B.J. John Prakash, P. Pramel, Nimmy Shaji, and Balasubramaniam R., Advocates, Counsels for the Respondent.


*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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Op EdsOP. ED.

On 10-3-2021, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in Moyna Khatun v. State of Punjab[1] dismissed the petition of Ms Moyna Khatun, aged 18 years and Mr Lab Singh, aged 19 years, seeking protection of their life and liberty at the hands of private respondents.

Live-in relationships or relationships in nature of marriage have slowly gained legal and judicial acceptance in the country. Statutorily, the Evidence Act, 1872[2] allows the court to draw a presumption of marriage under Section 114(g)[3] and Section 50[4]. In order to establish the presumption it has to be proved that the man and woman were living together for a long period as husband and wife; and that they projected themselves to the society as a married couple. There is no need to prove the factum of marriage in cases falling under Section 114. This reflects the approach of the law that it assumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when couples have lived together as husband and wife for a long period of time.

Another statute which recognises live-in relationships is the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005[5] (the PWDVA, 2005), which was passed in keeping with India’s international commitments to address gender specific grievances of women. Section 2(f) of the PWDVA, 2005[6] defines a domestic relationship as a “relationship between two persons who live or have lived together in a shared household when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, adoption or through a relationship in the nature of marriage”.

The need to include relationships in nature of marriage was recognised in the Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Protection from Domestic Violence Bill, 2002[7]. The Committee acknowledged that there are many instances in India where a man and woman, though not legally married, still live together as husband and wife and have social sanction for it as well. Therefore, these relationships need to be included within the framework of the law to ensure that such women who are victims of any kind of violence that occurs within the family are protected. Relationship in nature of marriage is defined as analogous to common law marriage[8] i.e. the couple has to hold themselves out to the society as being akin to spouse; have to be of legal age to marry; have to be otherwise qualified to enter into a marriage, including being unmarried; and have to voluntarily cohabit for a significant period of time.

Landmark cases such as D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal[9] and Indra Sarma v. V.K.V.  Sarma[10] have recognised and given contour to the factors that need to be established for proving live-in relationships. The Courts, have also generally been sensitive towards partners of live-in relationships. For instance, in Nandakumar v. State of Kerela[11], the Supreme Court allowed an underage couple to live together. It recognised that the concept may be socially unacceptable, but in law, it could not be looked down upon. Similarly, in a Gujarat High Court decision of 2020, the Court ordered the police to extract the documents of the girl from her father so that she could subsequently solemnise marriage with her live-in partner.[12] The Punjab and Haryana High Court has also ordered police protection to live-in couples in cases like Simran Kaur  v. State of Punjab[13] and Sukhbir Singh v. State of Punjab[14], Soniya v. State of Haryana[15], Priyapreet Kaur v. State of Punjab[16], Pardeep Singh v. State of Haryana[17] as also the Allahabad High Court in Kamini Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh[18].

The case of Moyna Khatun v. State of Punjab[19] is a unique case of live-in relationships. The female partner, aged about 18 years and the male partner, aged about 19 years, entered into a live-in relationship deed, which they settled by way of mutual consent. Through the contractual live-in-relationship, both parties agreed their relationship will not be a marital relationship; that they will fully cooperate with each other without any dispute and will not claim anything against each other; and if either party backs out from the aforesaid deed, the other party will have a right to approach a competent court of law for implementation of the same. Further, the parties will be entitled and will be at liberty to terminate the deed at any time after giving one month’s notice to the other party. Additionally, on attaining marriageable age, the parties agreed to solemnise marriage. It was also submitted by the counsel for the parties that the deed was executed by the parties in Patiala.

This is the first time that a case of such nature has come before any court in India. The Hon’ble Judge dismissed the petition on the ground that the terms and conditions of the deed, especially stating that it is not a marital relationship, is nothing but the misuse of the process of law as it cannot be morally accepted in society. This brings the author of this piece to the larger question of whether deeds of live-in relationships are void ab initio, or they have some merit in the law and can be executed in certain circumstances.

In countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America, live-in partners can enter into cohabitation contracts. These contracts are primarily used to protect the rights of the cohabiting partners upon dissolution of the relationship, either by death or dissolution. These generally include, but are not limited to, disclosure of each partner’s assets and liabilities. With respect to property of the partners, the agreement must specify how the parties intend to deal with property owned before the relationship as well as that acquired afterwards. Matters other than property that can form part of such an agreement are support, custody or visitation rights for children born during the relationship and payment of debts before and during the relationship. Inclusion of such clauses will make the agreement holistic and truly lead to protection of the rights of live-in partners.

When cohabitation contracts, or live-in relationship deeds are so framed, the next point of enquiry becomes whether such deeds are opposed to public policy. Not only in India, but in USA and UK as well, cohabitation contracts have been challenged on the ground of violating public policy. There are two public policy aspects implicit in the proposition of legally accepting the validity of cohabitation contracts – the execution of such contracts can lead to dissolution of the institution of marriage, and an increase in cohabitation; and, these contracts may be based on meretricious agreements. The latter was discussed in the landmark case of Marvin v. Marvin[20]:

Adults who voluntarily live together and engage in sexual relations are nonetheless as competent as any other persons to contract respecting their earnings and property rights. Of course, they cannot lawfully contract to pay for the performance of sexual services so long as the agreement does not rest upon illicit meretricious consideration, the parties may order their economic affairs as they choose, and no policy precludes the courts from enforcing such agreements.[21]

On the question of whether cohabitation agreements discourage marriage, the enquiry will lie in determining whether encouraging marriage is a matter of public policy, or, does it fall within the realm of private lives of people? Historically, marriage has been said to hold a place of extreme significance, both for the individuals as well as for the State. It was considered as the basic unit of society, a constituent element in determining the political theory, and consequently the functioning of the State.[22] It creates strong ties of identity, kinship, mutual interdependence and responsibility[23] and … brings with it a psycho-physical intimacy[24]. Marriage also serves as the backbone for the principle of legitimacy, since human children require a long duration of caring and it is in their benefit that they can associate to an identifiable mother and father as nurturers.[25]

Over the years, marriage has taken an institutional form, acceptable both in society and in religion. This is evident from the sacrosanct status to marriage given under the Hindu Law, wherein it has been considered to be a samskara. Similarly, in Islam, marriage is considered to partake elements of both ibadat i.e. worship and muamlat i.e. daily affairs of men. In Christianity as well, marriages have to be officially validated by a priest and clandestine living together or informal marriages are not accepted.[26]

The social significance placed upon marriage by legitimising it through religious and ceremonial practices reflects the notion of “marriage as a status”. Gradually, however, as with the movement of all States from “status” to “contract”, marital relationships have also moved from “status” to “contract”.[27] As a result of this, people have found the legal space to exercise their option of entering into non-marital unions. Live-in relationships are a form of intimate partner living.

A live-in relationship or cohabitation does not require proof of the couple being akin to spouses. It is thus, an alternate form of living together and founding a family. These relationships find their basis in the will theory of contract.[28] The prime reasons for the growth of live-in relationships have been the freedom associated with this living arrangement, test of emotional and physical compatibility and rejection of restrictions and inequalities that have come about in the institution of marriage.[29] At the same time, cohabitation relationships often involve incidents of marriage such as emotional and physical exclusivity of partners; expectations of a permanent relationship; stability and similar phenomena. Some partners may even comingle their assets, incomes, financial burdens and have children.[30] The main criticism against acceptance of cohabitation relationships is its duration and often impermanence. However, with increasing divorce rates, this argument may not hold tight. In India, the number of divorces has doubled over the past two decades. Though only 1.1 per cent of women are divorced, those in urban areas make up the largest proportion.[31]

In India marriage is the dominant form of intimate partner relationship. Living together, though socially unacceptable is legally acceptable. However, not every relationship qualifies as a live-in relationship, and the strict interpretation laid down by the courts has to be complied with in order to get the protection of the law. Presently, the law provides only limited rights to partners who live together. Maintenance is one such right that has been secured for the female partner, through a catena of judgments. Upon dissolution of the relationship due to separation or death of a partner, the law is silent on property rights, or even the matters of custody of children who are born during the relationship. If live-in deeds provide for the management of property, they will indeed secure rights of both parties, especially when this cannot be achieved by the succession laws of the country.  It will ensure that the partner with lower earnings has an income to rely on upon dissolution; and, the higher earning partner is not exploited eventually. Providing for child custody will also reduce unnecessary litigation and provide a harmonious environment for the upbringing of the child. The arrangement can however, be challenged in the court if it is found to not be in the best interest of the child. Mere mentioning of the relationship as a live-in relationship should also not be considered as a ground for rejecting the contractual arrangement if it can be established by the parties that their relationship is equivalent to a de facto marriage. It is here that the tests laid down by the Supreme Court will be useful. It will also exclude the possibility of the relationship being a meretricious one, as was cautioned in Marvin v. Marvin.[32]

Public policy is an unruly horse, but must change with the changing times. The same can even be said about immorality as a ground for not executing a contract. The aim of public policy is to preserve public welfare, wherein, individual freedom is restricted to ensure the general good of the society. Immorality too aims to protect the larger societal good. In light of this, it is imperative to note that the Parliamentary Standing Committee itself recognised the existence of live-in relationships in India. The author submits that merely mentioning that a relationship is a live-in relationship and not a marital relationship should not be considered immoral. Further, when the live-in relationship deed provides for protection of property, financial and custody and guardianship rights, it must be executed, subject to the principles of property and guardianship laws.


*Assistant Professor of Law, Institute of Law, Nirma University. Author can be reached at shreya.srivastava@nirmauni.ac.in

[1] 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 920.

[2] Evidence Act, 1872.

[3] Ibid, Section 114 (g).

[4] Ibid, Section 50.

[5] Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

[6] Ibid, Section 2(f).

[7] Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development on the Protection from Domestic Violence Bill, 2002 (Report No. 124).

 [8] D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal, (2010) 10 SCC 469.

[9] Ibid.

[10] (2013) 15 SCC 755.

[11] (2018) 16 SCC 602.

[12] Bhakhodiya Ashokbhai Rameshbhai v. State of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 2984

[13] 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 5409.

[14] 2015 SCC OnLine P&H 20771.

[15] CRWP No.4533 of 2021, decided on 18-5-2021.

[16] 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2340.

[17] 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 921.

[18] Writ C No. 11108 of 2020, decided on 23-11-2020.

[19] 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 920.

[20] (1976) 18 Cal 3d 660.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Elizabeth Brake, Marriage and Domestic Partnership, Stanford Encylopaedia of Philosophy (12-3-2021, 10:00 a.m.) <https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marriage/#:~:text=The%20state%20arises%20from%20component,theory%20(Politics%2C%201264b)>.

[23] Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles (Princeton, New Jersey, 2006), [Philosophy (12-3-2021, 10:30 a.m.)] < http://www.laikos.org/PublicGood.pdf>.

[24] E.O. James, Marriage and Society, (Hutchinson University Press, London, 1952)

[25] Kris Franklin, A Family Like any Other Family: Alternative Methods of Defining Family in Law, 18 NYU Rev. L. & Soc. Change 1027, 1033 (1990).

[26] Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753 declared that all marriage ceremonies must be conducted by a Minister in a Parish, Church or Chapel of the Church of England to be legally binding.

[27] Janet Halley, What is Family Law?: A Genealogy Part I, 23 Yale JL & Human, 52, 56 (2011)

[28] Ibid.

[29] State v. Manu Gopal, SC No. 456/2017, decided on 5-1-2019 (Delhi District Court).

[30] See Newcomb, Cohabitation in America: An Assessment of Consequences 43 (3) J. Mar & Fam. (1979); Glick & Norton, Marrying, Divorcing, and Living Together in the US Today, 32(5) Population Bulletin 32 (1977).

[31] UN Women Report on Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World, United Nations in India, <https://in.one.un.org/un-press-release/progress-worlds-women-report-2019-2020/> (13-3-2021, 9:30 p.m. )

[32] (1976) 18 Cal 3d 660.

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Bench of Sudhir Mittal, J., granted protection to a live-in couple who were under threat of physical harm by their own family. The Bench said,

The Constitutional Courts grant protection to couples who have married against the wishes of their respective parents…an identical situation exist where the couple has entered into a live-in-relationship. The only difference is that the relationship is not universally accepted. Would that make any difference? In my considered opinion, it would not.

In the instant petition, both the petitioners were major and were in a live-in-relationship. The petitioners submitted that a great deal of thought had gone into the decision and they had decided to enter into such a relationship as they were sure of their feelings for each other. However, the family of petitioner 2 was against the relationship and was threatening to cause physical harm to the petitioners, pursuant to which a representation had been submitted before respondent 2, but no action had been taken thereupon. Hence, having left with no other option, they had approached the Court for protection of their life and liberty.

On the other hand, the stand taken by the State was that live-in-relationships are not legal and are frowned upon by society. Thus, no protection could be granted to the petitioners.

The Bench opined that the Right to life and liberty as enshrined in the Constitution is a basic feature of the Constitution and according to the said right individual has right to full development of his/her potential in accordance with his/her wish and for such purpose, he/she is entitled to choose a partner of his/her choice. Holding that the individual also has right to formalize relationship with the partner through marriage or to adopt the non-formal approach of a live-inrelationship, the Bench opined, the concept of live-in-relationships has crept into our society from western nations and initially, found acceptance in the metropolitan cities, probably because, individuals felt that formalization of a relationship through marriage was not necessary for complete fulfillment. Education played a great role in development of this concept. Slowly, the concept has percolated into small towns and villages. This shows that social acceptance for live-in-relationships is on the increase. The Bench further expressed,

In law, such a relationship is not prohibited nor does it amount to commission of any offence and thus, in my considered view such persons are entitled to equal protection of laws as any other citizen of the country.

The law postulates that the life and liberty of every individual is precious and must be protected irrespective of individual views. The Bench added, the Constitutional Courts grant protection to couples, who have married against the wishes of their respective parents, the same situation exists where the couple has entered into a live-in-relationship, hence the fact that the relationship is not universally accepted would not make any difference. As,

The couple fears for their safety from relatives in both situations and not from the society. They are thus, entitled to the same relief.

Hence, holding that no citizen can be permitted to take law in his own hands in a country governed by Rule of Law, the Bench directed respondent 2 to consider the representation of the petitioners and provide appropriate protection. The respondent 2 was further directed to ensure no harm is caused either to the lives or liberty of the petitioners.

[Pardeep Singh v. State of Haryana, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 921, decided on 18-05-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Appearance before the Court by:

Counsel for the Petitioners: Adv. Mandeep Singh and Adv. Devender Arya

Counsel for the State: Addl. AG Sanjay Mittal

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Bench of Anil Kshetarpal, J, denied granting protection to a live-in couple opining such relationships are against society.

The counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Vishal Mittal submitted that petitioner 1 who 18 years old was residing with the petitioner 2 who was 21 years old. The couple claimed to be residing together in a live-in relationship. The grievance of the petitioners was that they were apprehending danger to their life and liberty from the relatives of petitioner 1 and hence, had approached the Court seeking protection against the same.

The Bench opined that if such protection as claimed is granted, the entire social fabric of the society would get disturbed. Hence, the instant petition was dismissed holding that no ground to grant the protection was made out.

Recently, another bench of the High Court had called Live-in-relationships morally and socially unacceptable and had refused to grant protection to the couple.

P&H HC| ‘Live-in-relationships morally and socially unacceptable’; HC refuses to pass protection order to a live-in couple

[Ujjawal v. State of Haryana, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 914, decided on 12-05-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

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Live-In Relationship And Indian Judiciary

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Bench of H.S. Madaan, J., had dismissed the instant petition filed by one live-in couple for the protection of their life and liberty.

The Petitioners Gulza Kumari and Gurwinder Singh had submitted before the Court that presently they were residing together and were intending to get married shortly. The couple urged the Court to provide them protection as they were apprehending danger to their lives at hands of parents of Gulza Kumari.

The Bench opined that as a matter of fact, the petitioners in the garb of filing the instant petition were seeking seal of approval on their live-in-relationship, which is morally and socially not acceptable. Hence, no protection order could be passed in such cases. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

[Gulza Kumari v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 896, decided on 11-05-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Appearance before the Court by:

Counsel for the Petitioners: Adv. J.S. Thakur

High Courts

Kerala High Court: In a petition filed by an aggrieved single mother before this Court regarding the inaction on the part of the respondents to issue passport to her five year old daughter born out of a troubled ‘live-in relationship’, a bench of A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai J., directed the respondents to issue Indian Passport to the petitioner’s minor daughter on humanitarian ground.

In the instant case, the petitioner who was born to Indian parents in U.S. and is an Overseas citizen of India, is seeking issuance of Indian passport to her daughter born out of a troublesome ‘live-in relationship’ with a native of Bangalore. The counsel for the petitioner A. Rajasimhan, contended that the denial of the passport to the daughter for want of Indian passport of the petitioner is illegal, unnecessary and unwarranted as per Rule IVA (3)(b) of Schedule III of the Passport Rules, 1980. The counsel for the respondent N. Nagaresh, contended that once the citizenship of the petitioner’s daughter is established, they will be in a position to issue passport to the child.

The Court observed that the marriage of the petitioner and child’s father was not registered and they got separated after the child was born during ‘live-in-relationship’. The Court noted that ‘every person is born with a domicile of origin which is received by him/her at his/her birth ‘and ‘the domicile of origin of every person of legitimate birth is the country in which at the time of his/her birth, his father was domiciled’.  The Court further noted that the right to life includes the right of the children to grow with the parents and to be in the company of the parents, and the denial of the same would be violation of natural justice of the petitioner as well as her daughter, and would also be detrimental to the psychological growth and development of the child.

The Court found that by virtue of Article 8 of the Constitution read with Section 7 A  of the Citizenship Act, the competency of the petitioner to approach this Court cannot be challenged as she is deemed to be a citizen of India, and accordingly directed the respondents to issue Indian passport to the child holding that the petitioner is a single parent and there is no one to look after the child in the event of her going to U.S. and therefore, the situation demands a humanitarian consideration and it would be a travesty of justice if passport is denied to the petitioner’s minor daughter on hyper technical grounds. Sindhu George v. Passport Officer, 2015 SCC Online Ker 3685 , decided on 10.04.2015

 

High Courts

Delhi High Court: While dismissing the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to keep the cases of live-in-relationships out of the purview of Section 376 IPC, the division bench of G. Rohini C.J. and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw J. held that keeping  live-in-relationships outside the ambit of Section 376 IPC would give it the status of matrimony which the Legislature has expressly chosen not to do. The Court further observed that a live-in-relationship constitutes a distinct class from marriage but defense of consent would be always available to the accused.

In the instant case, where petitioner and respondents was represented by C.S.S Tomar and Jasmeet Singh respectively, the petitioner also sought directions for (i) securing compensation for persons acquitted of criminal charge of rape under 376 IPC; (ii) registration of cases against person on whose complaint accused was prosecuted who ultimately received acquittal and also against the respective police officials who conducted the investigation against him; (iii) banning of sex offers and availability of pornographic or objectionable material on the internet.

The Court held that no general directions can be issued against such claims and further elaborated that just because the prosecutions ended in the discharge or acquittal of the accused does not necessarily warrant that the accusation made was baseless to the knowledge of the prosecution. Anil Dutt Sharma v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 7615, decided on 18.02.2015