Mere few days not sufficient to attach legitimacy to live-in relationship
Punjab & Haryana High Court dismissed a plea by a 20-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl who professed to be in live-in relationship and sought protection to their life and liberty from their relatives and observed that mere claim of two adults living together for a few days will not be sufficient to attach legitimacy to a live-in relationship.
“Majority of such petitions contain formal symbolic averments, grounds with imaginary cause of action, and are rarely founded upon ‘actual’ or ‘real’ existence of threat, and these types of cases consume considerable time of this court, that too at the cost of many other cases waiting in line for hearing,” remarked the Court on increasing petitions for protection of life and liberty while claiming to be in a live-in relationship.
The Court pointed that the concept of live-in-relationship was acknowledged as “domestic relationship” in Section 2(f) of “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005”.
Justice Manoj Bajaj said that it must be constantly borne in mind that the length of the relationship combined with discharge of certain duties and responsibilities towards each other are elements which would make such relationship akin to the marital relations as held in in the case of Indra Sarma v. VKV Sarma.
It was held that conditions like such duration of relationship, shared household, pooling of resources and financial arrangements, domestic arrangement, sexual relationship, etc. attach legitimacy to the relationship.
In the instant case, the Court noted that the girl is only 14 years old and the boy was claiming himself to be her next friend of minor.
The Court also felt that this petition was filed to claim protection from kidnapping charges levied on the boy by the girl’s father. The court said that his stand to claim himself as lawful representative of minor girl is not worth acceptance as he is an accused in the case of kidnapping.
By team SLC