The editorial “Law, sex and dicta” (June 19) argues that the Madras High Court’s ruling — that pre-marital sex between an unmarried man and woman amounts to marriage — is “outrageous.” Why is it outrageous? If a marriage performed as per custom/tradition/law that is not consummated can be a valid reason for divorce, why can’t a relationship that is consummated and produces two children be declared a marriage? Even if the man chooses to deny parentage, there are foolproof methods to prove it.

Today’s youngsters treat live-in relationships as the in-thing. Why shouldn’t they be forced to accept marriage in the interests of the children born out of such relationships? In these days of falling moral/family values, Justice C.S. Karnan’s judgment is historic.

Parsa V. Ramachander Rao,


The High Court verdict on pre-marital sex is a landmark. It puts a legal stamp on consent and consummation to recognise a marriage rather than stressing on routine formalities and rituals in marriages. The judgment will go a long way in addressing the woes of women who indulge in premarital sex under force of circumstances and will act as a morale booster to children born out of such relationships. One drawback is that premarital sex may increase because of the protection offered by the judgment.

K. Subashchandran


The judgment is progressive insofar as it casts responsibility on the “husband” as he can no longer walk away scot-free from a live-in-relationship. The judge however has equated even casual flings to marriage and ruled that those undertaking such amorous adventures should seek a ‘divorce’ from their partner before marrying.

How does the law propose to deal with sex crimes, sex with sex workers, etc? The judgment might well have settled the case before it but has caused tremendous confusion.

M. Mohamed Jalaludeen,


Keywords: premarital sex

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