The Allahabad High Court recently dismissed a plea to quash an FIR involving a live-in relationship couple, one of whom was a minor boy, and the other was a major girl. This decision has raised pertinent questions regarding live-in relationships under Indian law. In this case, the court expressed surprise that the minor boy, who was dependent on his father, wanted to be in a live-in relationship. This article explores the legal aspects of live-in relationships in India, focusing on the recent judgment by the Allahabad High Court.
Understanding Live-in Relationships in India
Live-in relationships, also known as cohabitation, have become increasingly prevalent in India, challenging traditional notions of matrimony. A live-in relationship can be defined as an arrangement where an unmarried couple, whether heterosexual or same-sex, chooses to live together under the same roof as partners without any formal or legal marriage. This union reflects a growing trend among couples who wish to explore compatibility, financial security, or simply prefer not to formalize their relationship through marriage.
Legal Perspective on Live-in Relationships
The legal status of live-in relationships in India has evolved over time, and it varies depending on the legal framework and jurisdiction. Several laws and judgments offer insights into the recognition and rights of individuals in live-in relationships.
Allahabad High Court’s Recent Judgment
In the case of Anchal Rajbhar and Jaihind Rajbhar, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a plea to quash an FIR lodged against the minor boy, Jaihind, under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Anchal and Jaihind, who were in a live-in relationship, sought to quash the FIR.
The court, while dismissing the plea, expressed surprise that a minor boy who was dependent on his father wanted to be in a live-in relationship. The court noted that Anchal was 19 years old, while Jaihind was a minor and dependent on his parents.
The court held that there was no reason to quash the FIR under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, essentially rejecting the request.
The Legal Implications
The recent judgment raises several legal implications for live-in relationships in India:
Live-in relationships are becoming increasingly common in India, raising complex legal questions. While the legal framework has evolved to offer some protection to individuals in live-in relationships, there is no uniform approach, and the recognition of such relationships depends on various factors. The recent judgment by the Allahabad High Court serves as a reminder that legal disputes surrounding live-in relationships can be intricate, especially when minors are involved. As live-in relationships continue to grow in India, it becomes imperative for the legal system to provide clarity and consistent guidelines to address the rights and responsibilities of those in such relationships.