TWALKITOUT: Social Media was abuzz yesterday when Hon’ble Justice C S Karnan of the Madras High Court delivered a judgement that is going to change the course of marital laws in the country. Not much judgements are discussed in Social Media and only few have received an equal praise and punch from the people. This is what that fired up so much craze on the social media
“If any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations”
Decorated in a typical judicial wordplay, this verdict can be interpreted as “If a couple are in a mutually agreed pre-marital sexual relationship, then they should be treated as Married couples.” Judgement also made it clear that the rituals and ceremonies are only for the society and Judicial system is not concerned if that happened or not.
The verdict is for an appeal against a lower court verdict in a case filed by a Muslim woman. The woman had got married to a man ritually, not recorded by any law, and had two children. The couple mutually separated in 2004 but the Husband denied to provide any compensation stating that there was no documentary proof of them being a married couple. The lower court ruled in favor of the man. But the Madras HC’s judgement overturned the decision.
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Appealing side quoted that the Man had signed as husband in the caesarean operation form while a complicated delivery that confirms that he is the responsible parent of her child. This upholds him as the legal husband, even though there isn’t any documentary evidence. The court also said, if there was a strong evidence of Sexual relationship (not requiring a child), then they could be treated as Married couple under law.
Why it is so important?
In simple terms,
“If you are in a live-in relationship, or if you indulge in pre-marital sex, then you are legally married!”
Yes! This is indeed ground-breaking stuff. With increasing penetration of western culture, live-in relationships are now more common in India. But the law of the land, accepts a couple as married only if social rituals are performed in front of witnesses. In case of these non-marital relationships, courts would have no role to be played. The situation is now overturned. Live-ins are now legally binding. And if a problem arises, they can feel free to move to the court.
Why is it NOT Important?
Contrary to popular belief echoed on the Social media, law experts claim that this verdict is case specific and will not be used as a reference in any common case.
This verdict is first such instance in Indian history. The judicial system had already accepted the existence of Live-in relationships in the country, pre-marital sex or One night stands are a subject of focus as well. Though it may not affect other cases, it could be a turning point for legal part of the relationships.
(photo credits: freedigitalphotos.net)
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