Man living with a woman without divorcing his spouse can't be called live-in relationship: HC

Court dismissed the petition of a couple from Punjab

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The Punjab and Haryana High court has held that a man living a "lustful and adulterous life" with a woman without divorcing his spouse cannot be called a "live-in-relationship" or "relationship" in the nature of marriage.

The single judge bench of Justice Kuldeep Tiwari dismissed the petition of a couple from Punjab who had sought protection of their lives and liberty.

The petitioners submitted that they have been in a "live-in relationship" which has caused grievance to the woman's family members who have threatened to kill them.

During the hearing, the court observed the woman in the "live-in-relationship" was unmarried while the man was married and had been living separately from his wife due to strained relations.

The man in the "live-in-relationship" has two children with his wife and they live with their mother.

"Without obtaining any valid decree of divorce from his earlier spouse and during the subsistence of his earlier marriage, the petitioner No.2 (man in live-in relationship) is living a lustful and adulterous life with the petitioner No.1 (woman in live-in relationship), which may constitute an offence punishable under Sections 494/495 of the IPC, as such a relationship does not fall within the phrase of 'live-in relationship' or 'relationship' in the nature of marriage," the court said in its order.

The court also found allegations of threat to life as "bald and vague."

"Neither any supportive material has been placed on record by the petitioners to corroborate their allegations, nor even any single instance pertaining to the manner and mode of alleged threats being extended to the petitioners has been anywhere disclosed," the court said.

The court further stated, "On the face of the above, it appears that in order to avoid any criminal prosecution in case of adultery, the present petition has been instituted. To the judicial mind of this Court, under the guise of invocation of the writ jurisdiction of this Court, the hidden intent of the petitioners is just to obliquely obtain the seal of this Court on their conduct."

"This Court finds no concrete ground to grant the asked for relief(s), which are consequently negated. Therefore, the instant petition is hereby dismissed," the court said. 


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