The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine the issue of maintenance in the case of live-in relationships.
“Live-in relationship is growing in the society and it is becoming socially acceptable with the changing times…a woman in a live-in relationship cannot be deserted without any security,” a Bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi said.
Stating that the issue involved a larger question of law, the bench appointed senior advocates Altaf Ahmed and PS Patwalia and counsel Shibu Shankar Mishra as amicus curiae in the case to assist it. They have been asked to give their suggestions on the tricky issue in six weeks.
The court was dealing with a petition filed by a Kerala man, who was asked by the High Court to pay maintenance to his former live-in partner. The man has challenged the HC’s order, contending that as they were not married, he could n’t be forced to pay maintenance.
Under Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code, a man with sufficient means can be ordered to pay maintenance only to his wife, children and parents. However, the SC has ruled that a live-in relationship continuing for a considerably long period can be treated as marriage.