Are Live In Relationships Acceptable In India?

Live-In Relationship

Saalam Namaste, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Fashion, Cocktail, etc movies showcased Live-In Relationships many years ago. Most young people are afraid of marriage as it is a big commitment for life. To check their compatibility with each other before going for this big commitment, and avoiding to encounter divorce the youth these days prefer staying in live-in. Past experiences lead to a better future.

Live-In relationships are legalized in India, but yet the Indian society treats it as a taboo. Slowly and gradually Indians are accepting this change, and are opening their minds towards the idea of pre-marital sex and live-in relationships. But, this change is constantly being criticized, and has to struggle for acceptance in society.  

It is clear that in a traditional society like ours, where the institution of marriage is revered, a number of couples prefer a live-in relationship. Sometimes it is also a matter of convenience where a couple may try to adjust to each other and save on the cost of living in a big city by sharing accommodation. So while the financial burden is being shared it is also a test for compatibility and a deep bonding which brings the couple closer. There are no large or unfair expectations from the in-laws too which make it a lot easier for the couple to be on the same footing as there will be more balance amongst them.

Many legal and social issues have arisen as a result of these circumstances, and they have become the subject of heated debate. 

If a married couple wants to rent an apartment in a good society they can easily get one, on the other hand it is quite difficult for a live-in couple to get one. This comes as people do not accept the couple. If such a couple gets a house on rent in a society, the members of society stand against them and do not allow them to stay in the premises. It is now that even banks are allowing joint accounts and many MNC’s are offering insurance and medicare for the partners of their employees who are not necessarily married. 

Recently, Delhi High Court while hearing a petition filed by a couple said that no third person, including family members, can interfere in the lives of two consenting adults living together as husband and wife, and the State is under a Constitutional obligation to protect married couples irrespective of their caste or community. According to Justice Tushar Rao Gedela, it is the duty of the state and its machinery to ensure that no harm comes to the citizens of the country, and constitutional courts are also empowered to issue orders to protect citizens who are afraid of harm.

The Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal that a live-in relationship is protected by the right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Court also ruled that live-in relationships are legal and that the act of two adults living together is not illegal or unlawful.

The government, the law, the constitution of India permits ‘Live-In Relations.’ Though statistics show more than 80% people of the country are accepting live-in relationships but less than half percent lives like this. So go ahead and try it out like an internship before taking on a job which will prepare you for the best and worst case scenario.


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