Friday, May 30, 2014

18 years mistress NOT a "relationship in the nature of marriage..", NO MAINTenance as she alienated the legal wife and kids !!


18 years mistress NOT a "relationship in the nature of marriage..", NO MAINTenance as she alienated the legal wife and kids !!

"..whether  a  "live-in relationship" would amount to a "relationship in  the  nature  of  marriage" falling within the definition of "domestic relationship" under Section  2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, ...."

Supreme court answers NO !!

"....
we  (Courts ) have  to conclude that there has been an attempt on the part  of  the  appellant  (second wife) to alienate  respondent  from  his  family,  resulting  in  loss  of   marital relationship, companionship, assistance, loss of consortium etc., so far as the legally wedded wife and children of the respondent are  concerned,  who resisted the relationship from the very inception.  Marriage and family are social institutions of vital importance.   Alienation of affection, in that context, is  an  intentional  tort !!! ...."

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This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon. Some notes are made by Vinayak. This is a free service provided by Vinayak (pen name). Vinayak is a member of SIF - Save Indian Family Foundation. SIF is committed to fighting FALSE dowry cases and elder abuse. SIF supports gender equality and a fair treatment of law abiding Indian men. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog or write to e _ vinayak @ yahoo . com (please remove spaces). Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
 
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CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE
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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2009 OF 2013

(@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO.4895 OF 2012)
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Indra Sarma                             … Appellant

Versus

V.K.V. Sarma                                 … Respondent

J U D G M E N T

K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.

Leave granted.

2.    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.

3.    We are, in this case, concerned with the question whether  a  "live-in relationship" would amount to a "relationship in  the  nature  of  marriage" falling within the definition of "domestic relationship" under Section  2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (for short  "the DV Act") and the disruption of such a relationship by failure to maintain  a women involved in such a relationship amounts to "domestic violence"  within the meaning of Section 3 of the DV Act.

FACTS:
*********************************

4.    Appellant and respondent were working together in a  private  company. The Respondent, who was working as a Personal Officer of the Company,  was a married person having two children and the appellant, aged 33  years,  was unmarried.   Constant contacts between them developed intimacy  and  in  the year 1992, appellant left the  job  from  the  above-mentioned  Company  and started living with the  respondent  in  a  shared  household.   Appellant's family members, including her father, brother and sister, and also the  wife of  the  respondent,  opposed  that  live-in-relationship.   She  has   also maintained the stand that the respondent, in fact,  started  a  business  in her name and that they were earning from that business.   After  some  time, the respondent shifted the business  to  his  residence  and  continued  the business with the help of his son, thereby depriving her  right  of  working and earning.  Appellant has also stated that both of them lived together  in a  shared  household  and,  due  to  their  relationship,  appellant  became pregnant on three occasions, though all resulted in  abortion.   Respondent, it was alleged, used to force the appellant to  take  contraceptive  methods to avoid pregnancy.  Further, it was also stated that the respondent took  a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- from the appellant stating that he would buy a land  in her name, but the same was not done.  Respondent also took  money  from  the appellant to start a beauty parlour for his wife.   Appellant  also  alleged that, during the year 2006, respondent took a  loan  of  Rs.2,50,000/-  from her and had not returned.  Further, it was also stated that the  respondent, all along, was harassing the appellant by  not  exposing  her  as  his  wife publicly, or permitting to suffix his name after the name of the  appellant. Appellant also  alleged  that  the  respondent  never  used  to  take  her anywhere, either to  the  houses  of  relatives  or  friends  or  functions. Appellant also alleged that the respondent never used to  accompany  her  to the  hospital  or  make  joint  Bank  account,   execute   documents,   etc. Respondent's  family  constantly  opposed  their  live-in  relationship  and ultimately forced him to leave the company  of  the  appellant  and  it  was alleged that he left the company of the appellant without  maintaining  her. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

5.    Appellant then preferred Criminal Misc. No. 692 of 2007 under  Section 12 of the DV Act before the III Additional  Chief  Metropolitan  Magistrate, Bangalore, seeking the following reliefs:

1) Pass a Protection Order under Section 18 of the DV Act prohibiting the respondent from committing any act of domestic  violence  against  the appellant and her relatives, and further  prohibiting  the  respondent from alienating the assets both  moveable  and  immoveable  properties owned by the respondent;

2) Pass a residence order under Section 19 of the DV Act and  direct  the respondent to provide for an independent residence as  being  provided by the respondent or in the alternative a joint residence  along  with the respondent where he is residing presently and for the  maintenance of Rs.25,000/- per month regularly as being provided earlier or in the alternative to pay the permanent maintenance charges at  the  rate  of Rs.25,000/- per month for the rest of the life;

3) Pass a monetary order under Section 20 of the  DV  Act  directing  the respondent to pay a sum of Rs.75,000/- towards the operation, pre  and post operative medication, tests etc and follow up treatments; http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

4) Pass a compensation order under Section 22 of the DV Act to a  sum  of Rs.3,50,000/- towards damages for misusing the funds of the sister  of the appellant, mental torture and emotional feelings; and

5) Pass an ex-parte  interim  order  under  Section  23  of  the  DV  Act directing the  respondent  to  pay  Rs.75,000/-  towards  the  medical expenses and pay the maintenance charges @ Rs.25,000/-  per  month  as being paid by the respondent earlier. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

6.    Respondent filed detailed objections to the application  stating  that it was on sympathetical grounds that he gave shelter to her  in  a  separate house after noticing the fact that she was  abandoned  by  her  parents  and relatives, especially after the demise of her father.    She  had  also  few litigations against her  sister  for  her  father's  property  and  she  had approached the respondent for moral as well as monetary support  since  they were working together in a Company.  The respondent  has  admitted  that  he had cohabited with the appellant since 1993.  The fact that he  was  married and had  two  children  was  known  to  the  appellant.   Pregnancy  of  the appellant was terminated with her as well as  her  brother's  consent  since she was not maintaining good health.  The respondent had  also  spent  large amounts for her medical treatment and  the  allegation  that  he  had  taken money from the appellant was denied.  During the month of April,  2007,  the respondent  had  sent  a  cheque  for  Rs.2,50,000/-  towards  her   medical expenses, drawn in the name of her sister which was encashed.   Further,  it was stated, it was for getting further amounts and to tarnish the  image  of the respondent, the application was preferred under the DV Act.  Before  the learned Magistrate, appellant examined herself as P.W.1  and  gave  evidence according to the  averments  made  in  the  petition.   Respondent  examined himself as R.W.1.  Child Development Project Officer was examined as  R.W.2. The learned Magistrate found proof that the parties had lived together  for a considerable period of time, for about 18 years, and then  the  respondent left  the  company  of  the  appellant  without  maintaining  her.   Learned Magistrate took the view that the  plea  of  "domestic  violence"  had  been established, due to the non-maintenance of  the  appellant  and  passed  the order  dated  21.7.2009  directing  the  respondent  to  pay  an  amount  of Rs.18,000/- per month towards maintenance from the date of the petition.

7.    Respondent, aggrieved by the said order  of  the  learned  Magistrate, filed an appeal before the Sessions Court under Section 29 of  the  DV  Act. The Appellate Court, after having noticed that the respondent  had  admitted the relationship with appellant for over a period  of  14  years,  took  the view that, due  to  their  live-in  relationship  for  a  considerable  long period, non-maintenance of the appellant would amount to  domestic  violence within the meaning of Section 3 of the DV  Act.  The  appellate  Court  also concluded  that  the  appellant  has  no  source  of  income  and  that  the respondent is legally obliged  to  maintain  her  and  confirmed  the  order passed by the learned Magistrate. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

8.    The respondent took up the matter in appeal  before  the  High  Court. It was contended before the High Court that the appellant was aware  of  the fact that the respondent was a married person having two children,  yet  she developed a relationship, in spite of the opposition raised by the  wife  of the respondent and also  by  the  appellant's  parents.  Reliance  was  also placed on the judgment of this Court  in  D.  Velusamy  v.  D.  Patchaiammal (2010) 10 SCC 469 and submitted that the tests laid down  in  Velusamy  case (supra) had not been satisfied.   The High Court held that the  relationship between the parties would not fall within the ambit of "relationship in  the nature of marriage" and the tests laid down in Velusamy  case  (supra)  have not been satisfied.   Consequently, the High Court allowed  the  appeal  and set aside the order passed by the Courts  below.   Aggrieved  by  the  same, this appeal has been preferred. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

9.    Shri Anish Kumar Gupta, learned counsel appearing for  the  appellant, submitted that the relationship between the parties continued from  1992  to 2006 and since then, the respondent started avoiding the  appellant  without maintaining her.  
Learned counsel submitted that the  relationship  between them constituted a "relationship in  the  nature  of  marriage"  within  the meaning of Section 2(f) of the DV Act, which takes in every relationship  by a man with a woman, sharing household, irrespective of the fact whether  the respondent is a married person or not.  Learned counsel also submitted  that the tests laid down in Velusamy case (supra) have also been satisfied. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

10.   Ms. Jyotika Kalra, learned amicus curiae, took us elaborately  through the provisions of the DV  Act  as  well  as  the  objects  and  reasons  for enacting such a legislation.  Learned amicus curiae submitted that  the  Act is intended to provide for protection of rights of women who are victims  of violence of any type occurring in the family.  Learned  amicus  curiae  also submitted that the various provisions of the DV Act are intended to  achieve the constitutional principles laid down in Article  15(3),  reinforced  vide Article 39  of the Constitution of India. Learned amicus  curiae  also  made reference to the Malimath Committee report and  submitted  that  a  man  who marries a second wife, during the subsistence of the first wife, should  not escape his liability to maintain his second wife,  even  under  Section  125 CrPC.   Learned amicus curiae also referred to a  recent  judgment  of  this Court in Deoki Panjhiyara v. Shashi Bhushan Narayan Azad and Another  (2013) 2 SCC 137 in support of her contention. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

11.   Mr. Nikhil Majithia, learned counsel  appearing  for  the  respondent, made  extensive  research  on  the  subject  and  made  available   valuable materials.   Learned  counsel  referred  to   several   judgments   of   the Constitutional Courts of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada,  etc. and  also  referred  to  parallel  legislations  on  the  subject  in  other countries. Learned  counsel  submitted  that  the  principle  laid  down  in Velusamy case (supra) has been correctly applied by the High Court  and,  on facts,  appellant  could  not  establish  that  their  relationship   is   a "relationship in the nature of marriage" so as to fall within  Section  2(f) of the DV Act.  Learned counsel also submitted that  the  parties  were  not qualified to enter into a legal marriage and the  appellant  knew  that  the respondent was a married person.  Further, the appellant was  not  a  victim of any fraudulent or bigamous marriage and it  was  a  live-in  relationship for mutual benefits, consequently, the High Court was right in holding  that there has not been any domestic violence, within the scope of Section  3  of the DV Act entitling the appellant to claim maintenance. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

12.   We have to examine whether the non maintenance of the appellant  in  a broken live-in-relationship, which is stated to be a   relationship  not  in the nature of a marriage
, will amount  to  "domestic  violence"  within  the definition of Section 3 of the DV Act, enabling the appellant  to  seek  one or more reliefs provided under Section 12 of the DV Act.

13.   Before examining the various issues raised in this appeal, which  have far reaching consequences with regard  to  the  rights  and  liabilities  of parties indulging in live-in  relationship,  let  us  examine  the  relevant provisions of the DV  Act  and  the  impact  of  those  provisions  on  such relationships. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

D.V. ACT
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14.   The D.V.  Act has been enacted to provide a remedy in  Civil  Law  for protection of women from being victims of domestic violence and  to  prevent occurrence of domestic violence in  the  society.    The  DV  Act  has  been enacted also to provide an effective  protection  of  the  rights  of  women guaranteed under the Constitution, who are victims of violence of  any  kind occurring within the family. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

15.   "Domestic Violence" is undoubtedly a human  rights  issue,  which  was not properly taken care of in this country even  though  the  Vienna  Accord 1994 and  the  Beijing  Declaration  and  Platform  for  Action  (1995)  had acknowledged that domestic violence was undoubtedly a  human  rights  issue. UN Committee on Convention on Elimination of  All  Forms  of  Discrimination Against Women in its general recommendations had also  exhorted  the  member countries to take steps to protect  women  against  violence  of  any  kind, especially that occurring within the family, a phenomenon  widely  prevalent in India.  Presently, when a woman is subjected to  cruelty  by  husband  or his relatives, it is an offence punishable  under  Section  498A  IPC.   The Civil Law, it was noticed, did not address this phenomenon in its  entirety. Consequently, the Parliament,  to  provide  more  effective  protection  of rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution under Articles 14, 15  and 21, who are victims of  violence  of  any  kind  occurring  in  the  family, enacted the DV Act. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

16.   Chapter IV is the heart  and  soul  of  the  DV  Act,  which  provides various reliefs to a woman who has or  has  been  in  domestic  relationship with any adult male person and seeks one or more reliefs provided under  the Act.   The Magistrate, while entertaining an application from  an  aggrieved person under Section 12 of the DV Act, can grant the following reliefs:

1) Payment of compensation or damages without  prejudice  to  the  right  of such person to institute a suit for compensation or damages for  injuries caused by the acts of domestic  violence  committed  by  the  adult  male member, with a prayer for set off against  the  amount  payable  under  a decree obtained in Court; http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

2) The Magistrate, under Section 18 of the DV Act, can  pass  a  "protection order" in favour of the aggrieved  person  and  prohibit  the  respondent from:

a) committing any act of domestic violence;

b) aiding or abetting in the commission of acts of domestic violence;

c) entering the place of employment of the aggrieved person or, if  the person  aggrieved  is  a  child,  its  school  or  any  other  place frequented by the aggrieved person;

d)  attempting  to  communicate  in  any  form,  whatsoever,  with  the aggrieved person, including personal, oral or written or  electronic or telephonic contact;

e) alienating any assets, operating bank lockers or bank accounts  used or held or enjoyed by both the parties,  jointly  by  the  aggrieved person and the respondent or singly by the respondent, including her stridhan or any other property held either jointly by the parties or separately by them without the leave of the Magistrate;

f) causing violence to the dependants, other relatives  or  any  person who give the aggrieved person assistance from domestic violence;

g) committing any other act as specified in the protection order.

3) The Magistrate, while disposing of an application under Section 12(1)  of the DV Act, can pass a "residence order" under Section 19 of the DV  Act, in the following manner:

"19. Residence orders.- (1) While disposing of an application under sub-section (1) of section 12, the Magistrate may, on being satisfied  that domestic violence has taken place, pass a residence order-

a) restraining the respondent from dispossessing or  in  any  other manner disturbing the possession of the  aggrieved  person  from the shared household, whether or not the respondent has a  legal or equitable interest in the shared household;

b) directing the respondent  to  remove  himself  from  the  shared household;

(c) restraining  the  respondent  or  any  of  his  relatives  from entering any portion of  the  shared  household  in  which  the aggrieved person resides;


(d) restraining the respondent from alienating or disposing off the shared household or encumbering the same;


(e) restraining the respondent from renouncing his  rights  in  the shared household except with the leave of the Magistrate; or

(f) directing the respondent to  secure  same  level  of  alternate accommodation for the aggrieved person as enjoyed by her in the shared  household  or  to  pay  rent  for  the  same,  if   the circumstances so require:

Provided that no order under clause (b) shall be passed against any person who is a woman.

xxx           xxx        xxx
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xxx           xxx        xxx"

(4)   An aggrieved person, while filing an application under  Section  12(1) of the DV Act, is also entitled, under Section 20 of the DV Act, to get "monetary reliefs" to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person as a  result of the domestic violence and  such  relief  may  include,  but  is  not limited to,-

"20. Monetary reliefs.-  (1) While disposing of  an  application  under sub-  section  (1)  of  section  12,  the  Magistrate  may  direct  the respondent to pay monetary relief to meet  the  expenses  incurred  and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the  aggrieved person as a result  of  the  domestic  violence  and  such  relief  may include, but not limited to,-

(a) the loss of earnings;

(b) the medical expenses;

(c) the loss caused due to the destruction, damage or  removal  of  any property from the control of the aggrieved person; and

(d) the maintenance for the aggrieved person as well as  her  children, if any, including an  order  under  or  in  addition  to  an  order  of maintenance under section 125 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure,  1973 (2 of 1974 ) or any other law for the time being in force.

xxx         xxx        xxx
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xxx         xxx        xxx"

The monetary reliefs granted under the above mentioned section shall be adequate, fair, reasonable and consistent with the standard  of  living to which an aggrieved person is accustomed and the Magistrate  has  the power to order an appropriate lump sum payment or monthly  payments  of maintenance.

(5)   The Magistrate, under Section 21 of the  DV  Act,  has  the  power  to grant temporary custody of any  child  or  children  to  the  aggrieved person or the person making an application on her behalf  and  specify, if necessary, the arrangements for visit of such child or  children  by the respondent.

(6)   The Magistrate, in addition to other reliefs, under Section 22 of  the DV Act, can pass an order directing the respondent to pay  compensation and damages for the injuries, including mental  torture  and  emotional distress, caused by the acts of  domestic  violence  committed  by  the respondent. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

17.   Section 26 of the DV Act provides  that  any  relief  available  under Sections 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 may also be sought in any  legal  proceeding, before a Civil Court, family  court  or  a  criminal  court,  affecting  the aggrieved person and the respondent whether such  proceeding  was  initiated before or after the commencement of this Act.  Further, any relief  referred to above may be sought for in addition to and along with any  other  reliefs that the aggrieved person may seek in such suit or legal  proceeding  before a civil or criminal court.  Further, if any relief has been obtained by  the aggrieved person in any proceedings other than a proceeding under this  Act, she shall be bound to inform the Magistrate of the grant of such relief. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

18.   Section 3 of the DV Act deals with "domestic violence"  and  reads  as under:

"3. Definition of domestic violence.- For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or  conduct  of  the  respondent  shall constitute domestic violence in case it-

(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical  abuse,  sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or

(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or

(c) has the effect of  threatening  the  aggrieved  person  or  any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or

(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical  or  mental, to the aggrieved person. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

Explanation I.- For the purposes of this section,-

(i)  "physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is of  such  a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person  and  includes  assault,  criminal   intimidation   and criminal force;

(ii) "sexual abuse" includes any conduct of a  sexual  nature  that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman;

(iii) "verbal and emotional abuse" includes-

(a) insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling  and  insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child  or a male child; and

(b) repeated threats to cause physical pain to any  person  in whom the aggrieved person is interested. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

(iv) "economic abuse" includes-

(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial  resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law  or custom whether  payable  under  an  order  of  a  court  or otherwise or which the aggrieved  person  requires  out  of necessity  including,  but  not   limited   to,   household necessities for the aggrieved person and her  children,  if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to  the  shared household and maintenance;

(b) disposal of household effects, any  alienation  of  assets whether   movable   or   immovable,   valuables,    shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property  in  which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to  use by virtue of the domestic  relationship  or  which  may  be reasonably required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved person; and

(c) prohibition  or  restriction  to   continued   access   to resources or  facilities  which  the  aggrieved  person  is entitled  to  use  or  enjoy  by  virtue  of  the  domestic relationship including access to the shared household. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

Explanation II.- For the purpose of determining  whether  any  act, omission, commission or  conduct  of  the  respondent  constitutes" domestic violence"  under  this  section,  the  overall  facts  and circumstances of the case shall be taken into consideration."

19.   In order to examine as to whether there has been any  act,  omission, or commission or conduct so as  to  constitute  domestic  violence,  it  is necessary to examine some of the definition clauses under Section 2 of  the DV Act.  Section 2(a) of the  DV  Act  defines  the  expression  "aggrieved person" as follows:

"2(a). "Aggrieved person" means any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have  been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent."

Section 2(f) defines the expression "domestic relationship" as follows:

"2(f). "Domestic relationship" means  a  relationship  between  two persons who live or have, at any point of time,  lived  together  in  a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage,  or through a relationship in the  nature  of  marriage,  adoption  or  are family members living together as a joint family." http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

Section 2(q) defines the expression "respondent" as follows:

"2(q). "Respondent" means any adult male  person  who  is,  or  has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and  against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act:

Provided that an aggrieved wife or female living in a  relationship in the nature of a  marriage  may  also  file  a  complaint  against  a relative of the husband or the male partner." http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

Section 2(s)  defines  the  expression  "shared  household"  and  reads  as follows:

"2(s). "shared  household"  means  a  household  where  the  person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in  a  domestic  relationship either singly  or  along  with  the  respondent  and  includes  such  a household whether owned or tenanted either  jointly  by  the  aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either  of  them  in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or  both jointly or singly  have  any  right,  title,  interest  or  equity  and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the  respondent  or the aggrieved person has any right, title or  interest  in  the  shared household." http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

20.   We are, in this case, concerned with a "live-in relationship"  which, according to the aggrieved person, is a  "relationship  in  the  nature  of marriage" and it is that relationship which has been disrupted in the sense that the  respondent  failed  to  maintain  the  aggrieved  person,  which, according  to  the  appellant,  amounts  to  "domestic   violence".     The respondent  maintained  the  stand  that  the   relationship  between   the appellant and the respondent was  not  a  relationship  in  the  nature  of marriage but  a  live-in-relationship  simplicitor  and  the  alleged  act, omission, commission or conduct of  the  respondent  would  not  constitute "domestic violence" so as to claim any protection orders under Section  18, 19 or 20 of the DV Act. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

21.    We have to first examine whether the appellant  was  involved  in  a domestic relationship with the respondent.  Section  2(f)  refers  to  five categories of relationship, such as, related  by  consanguinity,  marriage, relationship in the nature of marriage,  adoption,  family  members  living together as a joint family, of which we are, in this case,  concerned  with an alleged relationship in the nature of marriage. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

22.   Before we examine whether the respondent has  committed  any  act  of domestic violence, we  have  to  first  examine  whether  the  relationship between them was a "relationship in the  nature  of  marriage"  within  the definition of Section 3 read with Section  2(f)  of  the  DV  Act.   Before examining the term "relationship in the nature of  marriage",  we  have  to first examine what is "marriage", as understood in law.

MARRIAGE AND MARITAL RELATIONSHIP:

***************************************************************

23.   Marriage is often described as one  of  the  basic  civil  rights  of man/woman, which is voluntarily undertaken by the parties in  public  in  a formal way, and once concluded, recognizes the parties as husband and wife. Three elements of common law marriage are (1) agreement to be  married  (2) living together as husband and wife, (3) holding out  to  the  public  that they are married.   Sharing a common household and duty  to  live  together form part of the 'Consortium Omnis Vitae" which  obliges  spouses  to  live together, afford each other reasonable marital privileges and rights and be honest and faithful to each other.  One of the  most  important  invariable consequences of marriage is the reciprocal support and  the  responsibility of maintenance of the common household, jointly and severally.  Marriage as an institution has great legal significance  and  various  obligations  and duties flow out of marital relationship, as  per  law,  in  the  matter  of inheritance of property, successionship, etc. Marriage, therefore, involves legal requirements of formality, publicity, exclusivity and all  the  legal consequences flow out of that relationship. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

24.   Marriages in India take place either following the  personal  Law  of the Religion to which a party is belonged or following  the  provisions  of the Special Marriage Act.   Marriage, as per the Common Law, constitutes  a contract between a man and a woman, in which the parties undertake to  live together and  support  each  other.    Marriage,  as  a  concept,  is  also nationally and internationally recognized.   O'Regan,  J.,  in  Dawood  and Another v. Minister of Home Affairs and Others 2000 (3) SA 936  (CC)  noted as follows:

"Marriage  and  the  family  are  social  institutions   of   vital importance. Entering into and sustaining a  marriage  is  a  matter  of intense private significance to the parties to that marriage  for  they make a promise to one another to establish  and  maintain  an  intimate relationship for the rest of their lives which they acknowledge obliges them to support one another, to live together and to be faithful to one another.   Such relationships  are  of  profound  significance  to  the individuals concerned. But such relationships have more  than  personal significance at least in part because human beings  are  social  beings whose humanity is expressed through their  relationships  with  others. Entering into marriage therefore is to enter into a  relationship  that has public significance as well. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

The institutions of marriage and the family  are  important  social institutions that provide for the security, support  and  companionship of members of our society and bear an important role in the rearing  of children. The celebration of a marriage gives rise to moral  and  legal obligations, particularly the reciprocal duty of  support  placed  upon spouses and their  joint  responsibility  for  supporting  and  raising children born of the  marriage.  These  legal  obligations  perform  an important social function. This importance is symbolically acknowledged in part by the fact that marriage is celebrated generally in  a  public ceremony, often before family and close friends...."

25.   South African Constitutional Court in  various  judgments  recognized the above mentioned principle.  In Satchwell v. President of  the  Republic of South Africa and Another 2002 (6) SA 1 (CC),  Du  Toit  and  Another  v. Minister of Welfare and Population Development and Others (Lesbian and  Gay Equality Project as Amicus Curiae) 2003 (2) SA 198 (CC), the Constitutional Court of South Africa recognized the right "free  to  marry  and  to  raise family".   Section 15(3)(a)(i) of the  Constitution  of  South  Africa,  in substance makes provision for the recognition of "marriages concluded under the tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law."   Section 9(3) of the Constitution of South Africa reads as follows:

"The State may not unfairly  discriminate  directly  or  indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds,  including  race,  gender,  sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic  or  social  origin,  colour,  sexual orientation, age, disability, religion,  conscience,  belief,  culture, language and birth."

26.   Article 23 of the  International  Covenant  on  Civil  and  Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR) provides that:

"1.    The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of  society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

2.     The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry  and  to found a family shall be recognized.

3.     No marriage shall be entered into  without  the  free  and  full consent of the intending spouses.

4.     States Parties to the present Covenant  shall  take  appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its  dissolution.   In  the case of dissolution, provision shall be  made  for  the  necessary protection of any children."
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27.   Article 16  of  the  Universal  Declaration  of  Human  Rights,  1948 provides that:

"1.    Men and women of full age, without any limitation due  to  race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and  to  found  a family.  They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage,  during marriage and at it dissolution.

2.     Marriage shall be entered into  only  with  the  free  and  full consent of the intending spouses.

3.     The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of  society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."

28.   Parties in the present case are Hindus by religion and  are  governed by the Hindu Marriage Act,   1955.  The expression "marriage",  as  stated, is not defined under the Hindu Marriage Act,  but  the  "conditions  for  a Hindu marriage" are dealt with in Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage  Act  and which reads as under:
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"5. Conditions for a Hindu marriage - A marriage may be  solemnized between any two hindus, if  the  following  conditions  are  fulfilled, namely:-

(i)    neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage

(ii) at the time of the marriage, neither party-

(a) is  incapable  of  giving  a  valid  consent  to   it   in consequence of unsoundness of mind; or

(b) though  capable  of  giving  a  valid  consent,  has  been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the  procreation  of children; or

(c) has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity;

(iii) the bridegroom has completed the age of  twenty-  one  years  and the bride the age of  eighteen years at the time of the marriage;

(iv) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited  relationship unless the custom or usage governing each  of  them  permits  of  a marriage between the two;

(v)   the parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom  or usage governing each of them permits  of  a  marriage  between  the two."


29.   Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act deals with the "Ceremonies for  a Hindu marriage" and reads as follows:

"7. Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage. -

(1) A Hindu marriage may  be  solemnized  in  accordance  with  the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

(2) Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptapadi (that is, the taking of seven steps  by  the  bridegroom  and  the  bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes  complete and binding when the seventh step is taken."
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30.   Entering  into  a  marriage,  therefore,  either  through  the  Hindu Marriage Act or the  Special  Marriage  Act  or  any  other  Personal  Law, applicable to the parties, is  entering  into  a  relationship  of  "public significance", since marriage being a social institution, many  rights  and liabilities flow out of that legal relationship.  The concept  of  marriage as a "civil right" has been recognised  by  various  courts  all  over  the world, for example, Skinner v. Oklahoma 316 US 535 (1942), Perez v. Lippold 198 P.2d 17, 20.1 (1948), Loving v. Virginia 388 US 1 (1967).

31.   We have referred to, in extenso, about the concept of  "marriage  and marital relationship"  to indicate that the law has  distinguished  between married and unmarried people, which cannot be said to  be  unfair  when  we look at the rights and obligations which flow out  of  the  legally  wedded marriage.  A married couple has to discharge  legally  various  rights  and obligations, unlike the case of persons  having  live-in  relationship  or, marriage-like relationship or defacto relationship. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

32.   Married couples who choose to marry are fully cognizant of  the  legal obligation which arises by the operation of  law  on  solemnization  of  the marriage and the rights and duties  they  owe  to  their  children  and  the family as a  whole,  unlike  the  case  of  persons  entering  into  live-in relationship.   This Court in Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal v. State  of  Gujarat (2013) 2  SCALE  198  held  that  marital  relationship  means  the  legally protected marital interest of one spouse to another  which  include  marital obligation to another  like  companionship,  living  under  the  same  roof, sexual relation and the exclusive  enjoyment  of  them,  to  have  children, their up-bringing, services in the home, support,  affection,  love,  liking and so on. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

RELATIONSHIP IN THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE:
***************************************************************

33.   Modern Indian society  through  the  DV  Act  recognizes  in  reality, various other forms of familial  relations,  shedding  the  idea  that  such relationship can only be through some acceptable modes hitherto  understood. Section 2(f), as already indicated, deals with a  relationship  between  two persons (of the opposite sex) who live or have lived together  in  a  shared household when they are related by:

a)  Consanguinity

b) Marriage

c) Through a relationship in the nature of marriage

d) Adoption

e) Family members living together as joint family. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

34.   The definition clause mentions only five categories  of  relationships which exhausts itself since the expression "means", has been used.   When  a definition clause is defined to "mean" such  and  such,  the  definition  is prima facie restrictive and exhaustive.   Section  2(f)  has  not  used  the expression "include" so as to make the  definition  exhaustive.   It  is  in that context we have to examine the meaning of the expression  "relationship in the nature of marriage". http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

35.   We have already dealt with what is "marriage", "marital  relationship" and "marital obligations".   Let us now examine the  meaning  and  scope  of the expression "relationship in the nature of marriage" which  falls  within the definition of Section 2(f) of the DV Act.  Our concern in this  case  is of the third enumerated category that is  "relationship  in  the  nature  of marriage" which means a relationship which has some  inherent  or  essential characteristics of a marriage though  not  a  marriage  legally  recognized, and, hence, a comparison of both will have  to  be  resorted,  to  determine whether the relationship in a given case constitutes the characteristics  of a regular marriage. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

36.   Distinction between the relationship in the  nature  of  marriage  and marital relationship has to be  noted  first.     Relationship  of  marriage continues, notwithstanding the fact that there are differences of  opinions, marital unrest etc., even if they are not sharing a shared household,  being based on law.   But live-in-relationship is purely  an  arrangement  between the  parties  unlike,  a  legal  marriage.   Once  a  party  to  a  live-in-relationship determines that  he/she  does  not  wish  to  live  in  such  a relationship,  that  relationship  comes  to  an   end.    Further,   in   a relationship in the nature of marriage, the party  asserting  the  existence of the relationship, at any stage or at any point of time,  must  positively prove  the  existence   of   the   identifying   characteristics   of   that relationship, since the legislature has used the expression "in  the  nature of". http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

37.   Reference to certain situations, in which the relationship between  an aggrieved person referred to in Section 2(a) and the respondent referred  to in Section 2(q) of the DV Act, would or would not amount to  a  relationship in the nature of marriage, would be apposite.  Following  are  some  of  the categories of cases which are only illustrative:

a)  Domestic  relationship  between  an  unmarried  adult  woman  and  an unmarried adult male:    Relationship between an unmarried adult woman and an unmarried adult male who lived or, at any point of  time  lived together in a shared household, will  fall  under  the  definition  of Section 2(f) of the  DV  Act  and  in  case,  there  is  any  domestic violence, the same will fall under Section 3 of the  DV  Act  and  the aggrieved person can always seek reliefs provided under Chapter IV  of the DV Act. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

b) Domestic relationship between an unmarried woman and a  married  adult male:  Situations may arise when an unmarried  adult  women  knowingly enters into a relationship with a married adult male.  The question is whether such a relationship  is  a  relationship  "in  the  nature  of marriage" so as to fall within the definition of Section 2(f)  of  the DV Act. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

c) Domestic relationship between a married adult woman and  an  unmarried adult male:   Situations may also arise where an adult married  woman, knowingly enters into a relationship with an unmarried adult male, the question  is  whether  such  a  relationship  would  fall  within  the expression relationship "in the nature of marriage". http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

d) Domestic relationship between an unmarried  woman  unknowingly  enters into a relationship with a married adult male:    An  unmarried  woman unknowingly enters into a relationship with a married adult male, may, in a given situation, fall within the definition of  Section  2(f)  of the DV Act and such a  relationship  may  be  a  relationship  in  the "nature of marriage", so far as the aggrieved person is concerned. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

e) Domestic relationship between same sex partners  (Gay  and  Lesbians): DV Act does not recognize such a relationship  and  that  relationship cannot be termed as a relationship in the nature of marriage under the Act.  Legislatures in some countries,  like  the  Interpretation  Act, 1984 (Western Australia), the Interpretation Act, 1999 (New  Zealand), the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (South Africa), the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act, 2004 (U.K.), have recognized  the  relationship between the same sex couples and have brought these relationships into the definition of Domestic relationship. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

38.   Section 2(f) of the DV Act though uses the expression  "two  persons", the expression "aggrieved person" under Section 2(a) takes in only  "woman", hence, the Act does not recognize the  relationship  of  same  sex  (gay  or lesbian) and, hence, any act, omission, commission or conduct of any of  the parties, would not lead to domestic violence,  entitling  any  relief  under the DV Act.

39.   We should, therefore, while determining  whether  any  act,  omission, commission or conduct of the  respondent  constitutes  "domestic  violence", have a  common  sense/balanced  approach,  after  weighing  up  the  various factors  which  exist  in  a  particular  relationship  and  then  reach   a conclusion as to whether a particular relationship is a relationship in  the "nature of marriage".  Many a times, it  is  the  common  intention  of  the parties to that relationship as to what their relationship is to be, and  to involve  and  as  to  their  respective  roles  and  responsibilities,  that primarily governs that relationship.  Intention may be expressed or  implied and  what  is  relevant  is  their  intention  as  to   matters   that   are characteristic of a marriage.   The expression "relationship in  the  nature of marriage", of course, cannot be construed in the abstract, we  must  take it in the context in which it appears and apply the  same  bearing  in  mind the purpose and object of the Act as well as the meaning of  the  expression "in the nature of marriage".  Plight of a vulnerable  section  of  women  in that relationship needs  attention.  Many  a  times,  the  women  are  taken advantage of and essential  contribution  of  women  in  a  joint  household through labour and emotional support have been lost sight of  especially  by the women who fall in  the  categories  mentioned  in  (a)  and  (d)  supra. Women, who fall under categories (b) and (c), stand on a different  footing, which we will deal with later.  In the present  case,  the  appellant  falls under category (b), referred to in paragraph 37(b) of the Judgment. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

40.    We  have,  therefore,   come   across   various   permutations   and combinations, in such relationships,  and  to  test  whether  a  particular relationship would fall within the expression "relationship in  the  nature of marriage", certain guiding principles  have  to  be  evolved  since  the expression has not been defined in the Act. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

41.   Section 2(f) of the DV Act defines "domestic relationship"  to  mean, inter alia, a relationship between two  persons  who  live  or  have  lived together  at  such  point  of  time  in  a  shared  household,  through   a relationship in the nature of marriage. The expression "relationship in the nature of marriage" is also described as defacto relationship,  marriage  – like  relationship,   cohabitation,   couple   relationship,   meretricious relationship (now known as committed intimate relationship) etc.

42.   Courts and legislatures of various countries now began to think  that denying certain benefits to a certain class of  persons  on  the  basis  of their marital status is unjust where the need of those benefits is felt  by both unmarried and married cohabitants.  Courts in various  countries  have extended  certain   benefits   to   heterosexual   unmarried   cohabitants. Legislatures too, of late, through legislations started giving benefits  to heterosexual cohabitants. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

43.   In U.K. through the Civil Partnership Act, 2004, the rights  of  even the same-sex couple have been recognized.   Family Law Act,  1996,  through the Chapter IV, titled 'Family Homes and  Domestic  Violence',  cohabitants can seek reliefs if there is domestic violence.  Canada  has  also  enacted the Domestic Violence Intervention Act, 2001.  In USA, the violence against woman is a crime with far-reaching consequences under the Violence  Against Women Act, 1994 (now Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, 2013). http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

44.   The Interpretation  Act,  1984  (Australia)  has  laid  down  certain indicators to determine the meaning of "de facto relationship",  which  are as follows:

"13A . De facto relationship and de facto partner, references to

(1) A reference in a written law  to  a  de  facto  relationship shall be construed as a reference to a relationship (other  than a legal marriage) between 2  persons  who  live  together  in  a marriage-like relationship.
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(2) The following factors are indicators of whether or not a  de facto  relationship  exists  between  2  persons,  but  are  not essential —

(a) the length of the relationship between them;

(b)    whether the 2 persons have resided together;

(c)   the nature and extent of common residence;
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(d)   whether there is, or has been,  a  sexual  relationship between them;

(e) the degree of financial  dependence  or  interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;

(f)  the ownership, use and  acquisition  of  their  property (including property they own individually);

(g)  the degree of mutual commitment  by  them  to  a  shared life;

(h)  whether they care for and support children;

(i)  the reputation, and public aspects, of the  relationship between them.

xxx            xxx        xxx
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xxx            xxx        xxx"


45.   The Domestic and Family Violence  Protection  Act,  2012  (Queensland) has defined the expression "couple relationship" to mean as follows":

"18. Meaning of couple relationship

1)     xxx     xxx     xxx

2) In deciding whether a couple relationship exists, a court may have regard to the following –

a)  the  circumstances  of  the  relationship  between  the persons, including, for example–

(i)     the degree of trust between the persons; and

(ii) the level of each  person's  dependence  on,  and commitment to, the other person;
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b) the length  of  time  for  which  the  relationship  has existed or did exist;

c) the frequency of contact between the persons;

d) the degree of intimacy between the persons.
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3)  Without limiting sub-section (2), the court may consider the following factors in deciding whether a  couple  relationship exists-

a) Whether the trust, dependence or commitment is  or  was of the same level;

b) Whether one  of  the  persons  is  or  was  financially dependent on the other;

c) Whether the persons jointly own or owned any property;

d) Whether the persons have or had joint bank accounts;

e)  Whether  the  relationship  involves  or  involved   a relationship of a sexual nature;

f) Whether the relationship is or was exclusive.
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4) A couple relationship may exist even if  the  court  makes  a negative finding in relation to any or  all  of  the  factors mentioned in subsection (3).

5) A couple relationship may exist between two  persons  whether the persons are of the same or a different gender.

6) A couple relationship  does  not  exist  merely  because  two persons date or dated each other on a number of occasions."
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46.    The  Property  (Relationships)  Act,  1984  of  North  South  Wales, Australia also provides for some guidelines with regard to the meaning  and content of the expression "de facto relationship", which reads as follows:

14 De facto relationships

(1) For the purposes of  this  Act,  a  de  facto  relationship  is  a relationship between two adult persons:

(a)  who live together as a couple, and

(b) who are not married to one another or related by family.

(2) In determining whether two persons are in a de facto relationship, all the circumstances  of  the  relationship  are  to  be  taken  into account, including such of the following matters as may be relevant in a particular case:

(a)  the duration of the relationship,

(b) the nature and extent of common residence,
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(c)  whether or not a sexual relationship exists,

(d) the degree of financial dependence or  interdependence,  and any arrangements for financial support, between the parties,

(e)  the ownership, use and acquisition of property,

(f)   the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life,
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(g)  the care and support of children,

(h)  the performance of household duties,

(i) the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

(3) No  finding  in  respect  of  any  of  the  matters  mentioned  in subsection (2) (a)-(i), or in respect of any combination of  them,  is to  be  regarded  as  necessary  for  the  existence  of  a  de  facto relationship, and a court  determining  whether  such  a  relationship exists is entitled to have regard to such matters, and to attach  such weight to any matter, as may seem appropriate  to  the  court  in  the circumstances of the case. (4) Except as provided by section 6, a reference  in  this  Act  to  a party to a de facto relationship includes a reference to a person who, whether before or after the commencement of  this  subsection,  was  a party to such a relationship." http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

47.   "In Re Marriage of Lindsay, 101 Wn.2d 299 (1984), Litham v.  Hennessey 87 Wn.2d 550 (1976), Pennington 93 Wash.App. at 917, the  Courts  in  United States took the view that the relevant factors establishing  a  meretricious relationship include continuous cohabitation, duration of the  relationship, purpose of the relationship, and the pooling of resources and  services  for joint projects.  The Courts also ruled  that  a  relationship  need  not  be "long term" to be characterized as  meretricious  relationship.     While  a long term relationship  is  not  a  threshold  requirement,  duration  is  a significant factor.  Further, the Court  also  noticed  that  a  short  term relationship may be characterized as a meretricious, but a number  of  other important factors must be present. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

48.   In Stack v. Dowden [2007] 2 AC 432, Baroness Hale of Richmond said:

"Cohabitation comes  in  many  different  shapes  and  sizes.   People embarking on their first serious relationship  more  commonly  cohabit than marry.  Many of these relationships may be quite short-lived  and childless.  But most people these days cohabit before marriage…..   So many couples are cohabiting with a view to marriage at some later date – as long ago as 1998 the British Household Panel  Survey  found  that 75% of current cohabitants expected to marry, although  only  a  third had firm plans:  John Ermisch,  Personal  Relationships  and  Marriage Expectations (2000) Working Papers of  the  Institute  of  Social  and Economic Research:  Paper 2000-27.   Cohabitation is much more  likely to end in separation than is marriage, and cohabitations which end  in separation tend to last for a shorter time than marriages which end in divorce.   But increasing numbers of couples cohabit for long  periods without marrying and their reasons for doing so  vary  from  conscious rejection of marriage as a legal institution to  regarding  themselves 'as good as married' anyway:  Law Commission,  Consultation  Paper  No 179, Part 2, para 2.45."

49.   In MW v. The Department of Community Services [2008] HCA 12, Gleeson, CJ, made the following observations:

"Finn J was correct to stress the difference between  living  together and living together 'as a couple in a relationship in  the  nature  of marriage or civil union'.    The relationship between two  people  who live together, even though it is a sexual relationship,  may,  or  may not, be a relationship in the nature of marriage or civil union.   One consequence of relationships of the former kind  becoming  commonplace is that it may now be more difficult, rather  than  easier,  to  infer that they have the nature of marriage or civil union, at  least  where the care and upbringing of children are not involved."

50.   In Lynam v. The Director-General of Social  Security  (1983)  52  ALR 128, the Court considered whether a man and a  woman  living  together  'as husband and wife on a bona fide domestic basis' and Fitzgerald, J. said:

"Each element of a relationship draws its colour and its  significance from the other elements, some of which may point in one direction  and some in the other.   What must be looked at is the composite  picture. Any attempt to isolate individual factors and to  attribute  to  them relative degrees of materiality or importance  involves  a  denial  of common experience and will almost inevitably be productive  of  error. The endless scope for differences in human  attitudes  and  activities means that there will be an almost infinite variety of combinations of circumstances which may fall for  consideration.   In  any  particular case, it will be a question of  fact  and  degree,  a  jury  question, whether a relationship between two unrelated persons of  the  opposite sex meets the statutory test."

51.   Tipping, J. in Thompson v. Department of Social Welfare (1994) 2  SZLR 369 (HC),  listed  few  characteristics  which  are  relevant  to  determine relationship in the nature of marriage as follows:

"(1)  Whether and how frequently the parties live in the same house.

(2)   Whether the parties have a sexual relationship.

(3)   Whether the  parties  give  each  other  emotional  support  and companionship.
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(4)   Whether the parties  socialize  together  or  attend  activities together as a couple.

(5)   Whether and to what extent the parties share the  responsibility for bringing up and supporting any relevant children.

(6)   Whether the parties share household and other domestic tasks.

(7)    Whether  the  parties   share   costs   and   other   financial responsibilities by the pooling of resources or otherwise.
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(8)   Whether the parties run a common household, even if one or other partner is absent for periods of time.

(9)   Whether the parties go on holiday together.

(10)  Whether the parties conduct themselves towards, and are  treated by friends, relations and others  as  if  they  were  a  married couple."

52.    Live-in  relationship,  as  such,  as  already   indicated,   is   a relationship which has not been socially accepted  in  India,  unlike  many other countries.  In Lata Singh v. State of U.P.  [AIR 2006 SC 2522] it was observed that a live-in  relationship  between  two  consenting  adults  of heterosexual sex does not amount to any  offence  even  though  it  may  be perceived as immoral. However, in order to provide a remedy  in  Civil  Law for protection of women, from being victims of such  relationship,  and  to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence in the society, first  time  in India, the DV Act has been enacted to cover the couple having  relationship in the nature of marriage, persons related by consanguinity, marriages etc. We have few other legislations also where reliefs have  been  provided  to woman placed in certain vulnerable situations.

53.   Section 125  Cr.P.C.,  of  course,  provides  for  maintenance  of  a destitute wife and Section 498A IPC is related to mental cruelty  inflicted on women by her husband and in-laws.  Section  304-B  IPC  deals  with  the cases relating to dowry death.  The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 was enacted to deal with the cases of dowry demands by the husband and family  members. The Hindu Adoptions and  Maintenance  Act,  1956  provides  for  grant  of maintenance to a legally wedded Hindu wife, and also deals with  rules  for adoption.  The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 refers to  the  provisions  dealing with solemnization of marriage also deals with the provisions for  divorce. For the first time, through, the DV Act, the Parliament has recognized  a "relationship in the nature of marriage" and  not  a  live-in  relationship simplicitor.

54.   We have already stated, when we examine whether a  relationship  will fall within the expression "relationship in the nature of marriage"  within the meaning of Section 2(f) of the DV Act, we should have a close  analysis of the entire relationship, in other words, all facets of the interpersonal relationship need to be taken into account.  We cannot  isolate  individual factors, because there may  be  endless  scope  for  differences  in  human attitudes and activities and a variety  of  combinations  of  circumstances which may fall for consideration. Invariably, it may be a question of  fact and degree, whether a relationship between two  unrelated  persons  of  the opposite sex meets the tests judicially evolved. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

55.   We may, on the basis of above discussion cull out some guidelines for testing under what  circumstances, a live-in relationship will fall  within the expression "relationship in the nature of marriage" under  Section 2(f) of the DV Act.  The guidelines, of course, are  not  exhaustive,  but  will definitely give some insight to such relationships.
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1) Duration of period of relationship

Section 2(f) of the DV Act has used the expression "at any  point  of time", which means a  reasonable  period  of  time  to  maintain  and continue a relationship which may vary from case to  case,  depending upon the fact situation.

(2)   Shared household

The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.

(3)   Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements

Supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing  bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint  names  or  in  the name of the woman, long  term  investments  in  business,  shares  in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor.

(4)   Domestic Arrangements

Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the  woman  to  run  the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or upkeeping the house, etc. is an indication of  a  relationship  in the nature of marriage.

(5)   Sexual Relationship

Marriage like relationship refers to sexual  relationship,  not  just for pleasure,  but  for  emotional  and  intimate  relationship,  for procreation  of  children,  so  as   to   give   emotional   support, companionship and also material affection, caring etc.

(6)   Children

Having children is a strong  indication  of  a  relationship  in  the nature of marriage.   Parties,  therefore,  intend  to  have  a  long standing relationship.  Sharing the responsibility  for  bringing  up and supporting them is also a strong indication.

(7)   Socialization in Public

Holding out to the public and socializing with friends, relations and others, as if they are husband and wife is a strong  circumstance  to hold the relationship is in the nature of marriage.

(8)   Intention and conduct of the parties

Common intention of parties as to what their relationship  is  to  be and  to   involve,   and   as   to   their   respective   roles   and responsibilities,   primarily   determines   the   nature   of   that relationship.

STATUS OF THE APPELLANT
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56.   Appellant, admittedly, entered into a live-in-relationship  with  the respondent knowing that he was married person, with wife and two  children, hence,  the  generic  proposition  laid  down  by  the  Privy  Council   in Andrahennedige Dinohamy v. Wiketunge Liyanapatabendage Balshamy,  AIR  1927 PC 185,   that where a man and a woman are proved to have lived together as husband and wife, the  law  presumes  that  they  are  living  together  in consequence of a valid marriage will not apply and, hence, the relationship between the appellant and the respondent was  not  a  relationship  in  the nature of a marriage, and the  status  of  the  appellant  was  that  of  a concubine. A concubine cannot maintain a  relationship  in  the  nature  of marriage because such a relationship will not have exclusivity and will not be monogamous in character.  Reference may also be made to the judgments of this Court in Badri Prasad v. Director of Consolidation 1978  (3)  SCC  527 and Tulsa v. Durghatiya 2008 (4) SCC 520.  In Gokal Chand v. Parvin  Kumari AIR 1952 SC 231 this Court held that the continuous cohabitation of man and woman as husband and wife may raise the presumption of  marriage,  but  the presumption which may be drawn from long cohabition is a rebuttable one and if there are circumstances which weaken and destroy that  presumption,  the Court cannot ignore them.  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. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

57.   We may note, in the instant case, there is no necessity to rebut  the presumption, since the appellant  was  aware  that  the  respondent  was  a married person even before the commencement of  their  relationship,  hence the status of the appellant is that of  a  concubine  or  a  mistress,  who cannot enter into relationship in the nature of a marriage.  Long  standing relationship as a concubine, though not a relationship in the nature  of  a marriage, of course, may at times, deserves protection because  that  woman might not be financially independent, but we are afraid that  DV  Act  does not take care of such relationships which may perhaps call for an amendment of the definition of Section 2(f) of the DV Act, which is  restrictive  and exhaustive. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

58.   Velusamy case (supra) stated that instances are  many  where  married person maintain and support such types of women, either for sexual pleasure or sometimes for emotional support.  Woman, a party  to  that  relationship does suffer social disadvantages and prejudices, and historically,  such  a person has been regarded as less worthy than the married woman.   Concubine suffers social ostracism through the denial of  status  and  benefits,  who cannot, of course, enter into a relationship in the nature of marriage. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

59.   We cannot, however, lose sight of the fact that inequities  do  exist in such relationships and on breaking down  such  relationship,  the  woman invariably is the sufferer.  Law of Constructive Trust developed as a means of recognizing the contributions, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary, perhaps comes to their aid in such situations, which may remain as a  recourse  for such a woman who find herself unfairly disadvantaged.  Unfortunately, there is no express  statutory  provision  to  regulate  such  types  of  live-in relationships upon termination or disruption since those relationships  are not in the nature of marriage.  We can also come  across  situations  where the parties entering into  live-in-relationship  and  due  to  their  joint efforts or otherwise acquiring  properties,  rearing  children,  etc.   and disputes may also arise when one of the parties dies intestate. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

60.   American Jurisprudence, Second Edition,  Vol.  24  (2008)  speaks  of Rights and Remedies  of  property  accumulated  by  man  and  woman  living together in illicit relations or under void marriage, which reads as under:

"Although the courts have recognized the property  rights  of  persons cohabiting without benefit of marriage, these rights are not based  on the equitable distribution provisions of the marriage and divorce laws because the judicial recognition of  mutual  property  rights  between unmarried cohabitants  would  violate  the  policy  of  the  state  to strengthen and preserve the integrity of marriage, as demonstrated  by its abolition of common-law marriage." http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

61.   Such relationship, it may be noted, may endure for a  long  time  and can result pattern of dependency and vulnerability, and  increasing  number of  such  relationships,  calls  for  adequate  and  effective  protection, especially to the woman and children born out of that live-in-relationship. Legislature, of course, cannot promote pre-marital sex, though, at  times, such relationships are intensively personal and people  may  express  their opinion, for and against.  See S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal and another (2010) 5 SCC 600.

62.    Parliament  has  to  ponder  over  these  issues,  bring  in  proper legislation or make a proper amendment of the Act, so that  women  and  the children, born out of such kinds  of  relationships  be  protected,  though those types of relationship might not be a relationship in the nature of  a marriage. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

63.   We may now consider whether the tests, we have laid down,  have  been satisfied in the instant case.  We have found that the  appellant  was  not ignorant of the fact that the respondent was a married person with wife and two children, hence, was party to an adulterous and bigamous  relationship. Admittedly, the relationship  between  the  appellant  and  respondent  was opposed by the wife of the respondent,  so  also  by  the  parents  of  the appellant and her brother and sister and they knew that they could not have entered into a legal marriage or maintained a relationship in the nature of marriage.   Parties never entertained any intention to rear children and on three occasions the pregnancy was terminated.  Having children is a  strong circumstance to indicate a relationship  in  the  nature  of  marriage.  No evidence has been adduced to show that the parties gave each  other  mutual support and companionship.   No material has been produced to show that the parties have ever projected or conducted themselves as husband and wife and treated by friends, relatives and others, as if they are a married  couple. On the other hand, it is the  specific  case  of  the  appellant  that  the respondent had never held out to the public that she  was  his  wife.    No evidence of socialization in public has been produced.  There is nothing to show that there was pooling of resources or financial arrangements  between them.  On the other hand, it is the specific case of the appellant that the respondent had never opened any joint account or executed any  document  in the joint name.  Further, it was also submitted that the  respondent  never permitted to suffix his name after the name of the appellant.  No  evidence is forthcoming, in this case, to show that the respondent  had  caused  any harm or injuries or endangered the health,  safely,  life,  limb  or  well-being, or caused any physical or sexual abuse on the appellant, except that he did not maintain her or continued with the relationship. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

ALIENATION OF AFFECTION
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64.   Appellant had entered into this relationship knowing  well  that  the respondent was a married person and encouraged  bigamous  relationship.  By entering  into  such  a  relationship,  the  appellant  has  committed   an intentional tort,  i.e.  interference  in  the  marital  relationship  with intentionally alienating respondent from his  family,  i.e.  his  wife  and children.  If the case set up by the appellant  is  accepted,  we  have  to conclude that there has been an attempt on the part  of  the  appellant  to alienate  respondent  from  his  family,  resulting  in  loss  of   marital relationship, companionship, assistance, loss of consortium etc., so far as the legally wedded wife and children of the respondent are  concerned,  who resisted the relationship from the very inception.  Marriage and family are social institutions of vital importance.   Alienation of affection, in that context, is  an  intentional  tort,  as  held  by  this  Court  in  Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal case (supra), which gives a cause of action  to  the  wife and children of the respondent to sue  the  appellant  for  alienating  the husband/father from the company of his wife/children,  knowing  fully  well they are legally wedded wife/children of the respondent..

65.   We are, therefore, of the view that the appellant, having been  fully aware of the fact that the respondent was a married person, could not  have entered into a live-in relationship in the nature of marriage.  All live-in-relationships are not relationships in the nature of marriage.  Appellant's and the respondent's relationship is, therefore, not a "relationship in the nature of marriage" because it has no inherent or essential  characteristic of a marriage, but a relationship other than "in the  nature  of  marriage" and the appellant's status is lower than the status  of  a  wife  and  that relationship  would  not  fall   within   the   definition   of   "domestic relationship" under Section 2(f) of the DV  Act.    If  we  hold  that  the relationship between the appellant and the respondent is a relationship  in the nature of a marriage, we will be doing  an  injustice  to  the  legally wedded wife and children who opposed that relationship.  Consequently,  any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent in connection with that type of relationship, would not amount to  "domestic  violence"  under Section 3 of the DV Act.

66.   We have, on facts, found that the appellant's status was  that  of  a mistress, who is in distress, a survivor of a live-in relationship which is of serious concern, especially when such persons are poor  and  illiterate, in the event of which vulnerability is more pronounced, which is a societal reality.  Children born out of such relationship  also  suffer  most  which calls for bringing in remedial measures by the Parliament,  through  proper legislation.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

67.   We are conscious of the fact that if any direction is  given  to  the respondent to pay maintenance or monetary consideration to  the  appellant, that would be at the cost of the legally wedded wife and  children  of  the respondent, especially when they had opposed that relationship and  have  a cause of action against the appellant for alienating the companionship  and affection of the husband/parent which is an intentional tort.

68.   We, therefore, find no reason to interfere with the judgment  of  the High Court and the appeal is accordingly dismissed. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; http://vinayak.wordpress.com/

………………………….……J.

(K.S. Radhakrishnan)

………………………………J.

(Pinaki Chandra Ghose)

New Delhi

November 26, 2013


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Vinayak
Father of a lovely daughter, criminal in the eyes of a wife, son of an compassionate elderly mother, old timer who hasn't given up, Male, activist