Live-in partners not entitled to protection if one of the partner has a subsisting marriage

Allahabad-High-Court

Allahabad High Court: In a case before the Court dealing with the right to live-in relationship, Suneet Kumar, J. observed that when a person enters into a relationship with another who is married and such marriage has not been dissolved by any competent court, then such a relationship cannot be granted protection.

In this case, one of the petitioners was already married against her wishes. Subsequently she had a live-in relationship with the other petitioner for five years,and later eloped with intention to marry. Therefore, she and her partner sought protection since they claimed to have a right to live-in relationship. This Court, analyzing the case on the lines of the Supreme Court’s ratio in Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755, held that the petitioners entered into a relationship knowing fully well the marital status of each other. Since the woman’s marriage had not yet been dissolved by any competent court as on date, therefore, such a relationship could be granted any protection and would therefore not be covered under Section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act to fall within the expression relationship “in the nature of marriage”. [Kusum v. State of U.P., 2016 SCC OnLine All 988, decided on 09.11.2016]

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