Even though there is no legal recognition of live-in relationships in India, the Supreme Court recognized it as an accepted norm in society back in 2015 in a historic ruling.
“In modern times, live-in relationship has become an acceptable norm. It is not a crime,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant had observed.
However, this is 2023 and several of our ministers and members of parliament are strongly against the idea of live-in relationships and view it as a disease that is taking our society towards degradation. One such person is an MP from Haryana named Dharambir Singh who recently requested for strict laws against such relationships at a Parliamentary session.
Giving the example of Shraddha Walkar, the woman who was brutally murdered by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala, MP Dharambir Singh said, “Such relationships are very common in western nations but this evil is fast spreading in our society also and the consequences are horrible. Recently, the case of Shraddha (Walkar) and Aftab (Poonawala) had come to light in which both were in a live-in relationship.”
“Not only this is ruining our culture but also hatred and evils are spreading in the society. If this continues our culture will die and there will be no difference between us and others. I request the minister that a law be made against live-in relationships so that this dangerous disease can be eradicated from society,” India Today quoted him saying.
In our country, the more conservative and traditional communities emphasize the sanctity of marriage and family values and have a tendency to frown upon live-in relationships because they entail a couple engaging in sexual activities outside of marriage. However, our society is now moving towards a space that is more accepting of individual autonomy. If we are to progress as a society, and become more sensitive, open-minded and accepting of people from various spheres, such closeted thinking should not be encouraged, let alone laws being made to restrict people from living the life they want to.