The Supreme Court’s observation that a live-in or marriage-like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin and that Parliament should amend the law to protect women and children in live-in relationships (Nov. 29) is commendable. Such a relationship may not be socially acceptable but in a fast changing, cosmopolitan society, such things have become increasingly common. Bringing in a law to protect children and women in a live-in arrangement will instil security, confidence and a sense of responsibility in the country’s vast young population. By amending the law, India will live up to its ethos of a modern, democratic nation that has liberal values.
At a time when the state is working towards the compulsory registration of most forms of marriages, the judgment is regressive. While children born out of live-in relationships definitely need protection and must be treated on a par with children born to legally wedded couples, one must also remember that the institution of marriage is sacrosanct. Live-in relationships cannot be treated as marriages.
Live-in relationships create more problems in society. Most are like contracts which get terminated once certain needs are fulfilled. Laws originally intended for the safety and well-being of women seem to be creating more problems for them.
Karavadi Raghava Rao,