Appellant’s and the respondent’s relationship is, therefore, not a “relationship in the nature of marriage”!

Appellant’s and the respondent’s relationship is, therefore, not a “relationship in the nature of marriage”!

Indra Sarma vs V K V Sarma

Supreme Court

26/11/2013

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2009 OF 2013 (@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO.4895 OF 2012)

About/from the judgment:

We are, therefore, of the view that the appellant, having been fully aware of the fact that the respondent was a married person, could not have entered into a livein relationship in the nature of marriage. All live-inrelationships are not relationships in the nature of marriage. Appellant’s and the respondent’s relationship is, therefore, not a “relationship in the nature of marriage” because it has no inherent or essential characteristic of a marriage, but a relationship other than “in the nature of marriage” and the appellant’s status is lower than the status of a wife and that relationship would not fall within the definition of “domestic relationship” under Section 2(f) of the DV Act. If we hold that the relationship between the appellant and the respondent is a relationship in the nature of a marriage, we will be doing an injustice to the legally wedded wife and children who opposed that relationship. Consequently, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent in connection with that type of relationship, would not amount to “domestic violence” under Section 3 of the DV Act.

 

Appellant’s status was that of a mistress, who is in distress, a survivor of a live-in relationship which is of serious concern, especially when such persons are poor and illiterate, in the event of which vulnerability is more pronounced, which is a societal reality. Children born out of such relationship also suffer most which calls for bringing in remedial measures by the Parliament, through proper legislation.

 

We are conscious of the fact that if any direction is given to the respondent to pay maintenance or monetary consideration to the appellant, that would be at the cost of the legally wedded wife and children of the respondent, especially when they had opposed that relationship and have a cause of action against the appellant for alienating the companionship and affection of the husband/parent which is an intentional tort.

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