The SC passed the verdict on Thursday Nov 28,2013 while adjudicating dispute between a live-in couple where a lady had sought maintenance from a man after the relationship came to an end.
The SC said unfortunately, there is no express statutory provision to regulate live-in relationships upon termination as these relationships are not in the nature of marriage and not recognised in law.
In the landmark judgement, a Bench headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan framed guidelines for bringing live-in relationship within the expression 'relationship in the nature of marriage' for protection of women from Domestic Violence Act
"Live-in or marriage like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country. The decision to marry or not to marry or to have a heterosexual relationship is intensely personal," the bench said
The Bench, however, said that maintaining an adulterous relation would not come within the ambit of live-in relationship which is to be protected by law.
"Polygamy, that is a relationship or practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time, or a relationship by way of a bigamous marriage that is marrying someone while already married to another and/or maintaining an adulterous relationship that is having voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person who is not one?s husband or wife, cannot be said to be a relationship in the nature of marriage," it said.