Kashish Gupta, Second-year Law student at Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University.*
DOI Link: https://doi.org/10.17613/g0m2-x106
In a country like India where laws are biased towards the preservation of marriage, often at cost of women suffering, it is not surprising that the concept of ‘live-in relationship’ has been always considered unethical and immoral. However, moral policing cannot take away the fundamental rights sanctioned by the Constitution. The case of D. Velusamy v D. Patchaimal decided in 2010, generated a similar debate when the court through its ambiguous moral judgment, limited the scope of the expression ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ under Section 2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and equated it with ‘common-law marriages. While the judgment appears to be progressive by recognizing the legality of certain live-in relationships, it ended up disadvantaging the women it seeks to protect. This comment attempts to critically analyse the Velusamy judgment and contends that by limiting the scope of the expression ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’, the court excluded women in a diverse range of cohabiting relationships, especially those who are in fraudulent marriages or are ‘second-wives’ from seeking legal remedies.