Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Anand Pathak, J., granted anticipatory bail to the applicant who had filed the application apprehending arrest in respect of registration of crime punishable under Section 376(2) (n) of Penal Code, 1860

The counsel for the applicant, Mr Ravi Dwivedi and Mr Atul Gupta submitted that as per the contents of FIR itself, applicant and prosecutrix were in live-in relationship for almost a year and when relationship turn soured and applicant proceeded to marry with some other girl, then this case has been filed as a counterblast to exert pressure. The counsel further contended that offence of rape prima facie cannot be made out on the basis of promise of marriage and here the parties lived as couple in live-in relationship. He added that confinement amounts to pretrial detention. The counsel assured that the applicant undertakes to cooperate in the investigation/trial and would not be a source of embarrassment and harassment to the complainant party in any manner and shall not move in her vicinity.

The Court considering the fact situation of the case and in view of COVID-19 pandemic as well as looking to the mandate of Supreme Court in the case of Aparna Bhat v. State of M.P, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 230 allowed the application. The Court further directed that the applicant will not indulge himself in extending inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade them from disclosing such facts to the Court or to the Police Officer. He was further directed not to move in the vicinity of prosecutrix and shall not be a source of embarrassment and harassment to her in any manner.[Mayank Tiwari v. State of M.P., M.Cr.C. No.31444 of 2021, decided on 28-06-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While determining whether a live-in partner would be entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Bench of Jaishree Thakur J. reiterated the holding of the Supreme Court in Chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha, (2011) 1 SCC 141, that where partners live together as husband and wife, a presumption would arise in favour of a wedlock.

In the instant case, as alleged by the respondent, she began residing with the petitioner in 2008 and bore him twins in 2011. After a while she obtained a decree of divorce from her previous husband. Later on, it was revealed that the petitioner was married. The petitioner argued that without dealing with the question of a valid marriage between the parties, the Family Court awarded maintenance under Section 125 CrPC and that owing to the permanent alimony by her previous husband, she has adequate source of income to maintain herself.

The Court referred to the 2003 report of the Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System, which recommended that the word ‘wife’ in Section 125 CrPC should be amended to include a woman who was living with the man like his wife for a reasonably long period. Applying the grounds laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755 as to when a live-in relationship would fall within the expression “relationship in the nature of marriage”, the Bench said that the fact that twins were born out of this relationship indicated the couple’s intent to give it some permanence and that can entitle the woman to claim interim maintenance.

The Court awarded a reduced sum of maintenance to the woman in order to tide over any immediate difficulty without interfering with the order of maintenance for children and directed that the Family Court seized of the matter will also have to see if respondent herein is able to maintain herself on account of the fact that she had been granted  Rs 40 lakhs as permanent alimony from her earlier divorce proceedings. In case the respondent is not entitled to maintenance, necessary deductions are permitted from the amounts already paid. [Ajay Bhardwaj v. Jyotsna, 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 9707, decided on 23.11.2016]


Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: In a case before the Court dealing with the right to live-in relationship, Suneet Kumar, J. observed that when a person enters into a relationship with another who is married and such marriage has not been dissolved by any competent court, then such a relationship cannot be granted protection.

In this case, one of the petitioners was already married against her wishes. Subsequently she had a live-in relationship with the other petitioner for five years,and later eloped with intention to marry. Therefore, she and her partner sought protection since they claimed to have a right to live-in relationship. This Court, analyzing the case on the lines of the Supreme Court’s ratio in Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755, held that the petitioners entered into a relationship knowing fully well the marital status of each other. Since the woman’s marriage had not yet been dissolved by any competent court as on date, therefore, such a relationship could be granted any protection and would therefore not be covered under Section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act to fall within the expression relationship “in the nature of marriage”. [Kusum v. State of U.P., 2016 SCC OnLine All 988, decided on 09.11.2016]