Points to Ponder for Live-In Relations in India
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-19
It is well settled that the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a long time. However, the presumption can be rebutted by leading unimpeachable evidence. A heavy burden lies on a party who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin.

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The following lines are an excerpt from a recent Order passed by the Supreme Court in April 2015-

"It is well settled that the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a long time. However, the presumption can be rebutted by leading unimpeachable evidence. A heavy burden lies on a party who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin."

This was the observation of the Apex Court in a landmark judgment related to a live-in relationship case that had come up before a two-judge bench. Before you can dismiss the case from any perspective or bias the facts of the case prove that the concept of live-in relationships has not begun from the reckless decision making of young urban Indians.

The order mentioned above, came in response to a property dispute where a family contested that their grandfather was not legally wedded to a woman he had lived with- for 20 years! They claimed that she was his mistress, despite living in the joint family with them. The real facts as given in the judgment definitely proved the claims that the person in question had been living with another woman after his wife's death, and the couple were not legally married.

Yet this argument of cohabitation without being married, which was supposed to be an argument from the Parties trying to prove that the woman was only a mistress, is what eventually destroyed their case.

It is well settled that the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a long time. However, the presumption can be rebutted by leading unimpeachable evidence. A heavy burden lies on a party who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin.

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Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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