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SC snubs HC, says living in akin to marriage

Days after the Delhi High Court held that a partner could "walk in and walk out" of a live-in relationship, the Supreme Court has ruled to the contrary. Bhadra Sinha reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2010 00:05 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times

Days after the Delhi High Court held that a partner could "walk in and walk out" of a live-in relationship, the Supreme Court has ruled to the contrary.

The bench held: "The live-in-relationship if continued for such a long time, cannot be termed in as 'walk in and walk out' relationship and there is a presumption of marriage between them which the appellants failed to rebut".

The bench dismissed an appeal filed by one Madan Mohan Singh from UP who had sought to reverse the Allahabad High Court judgment permitting the authorities to include the names of four children, born out of the live-in relationship, as legal heirs to the legacy of the petitioners' father.

After perusing the records and concurrent findings by the district authorities, the bench held the petitioners' father, Chandra Deo Singh, lived with his live-in partner, Shakuntala till his death on December 12, 1979. Their relationship, as husband and wife, had been accepted not only by the society but also by the family members.

Singh's children born out of the live-in relationship moved the authorities to include their names as legal heirs. The petitioner claimed there was nothing on record to show that Singh got married with Shakuntala in accordance with law.

"At the most she could be Singh's concubine and, therefore, the respondents have no right to inherit any share in the land," the petitioner claimed.

Doctor fined
The Supreme Court on Monday directed an Orissa-based gynaecologist and a nursing home to pay Rs 15.30 lakh to a 32-year-old woman for leaving a pad inside her abdomen during an operation.

The woman had undergone an operation to remove her fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus in 1998. The pad was in her abdomen for more than seven months before it was removed in another operation.

A bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar rejected P N Mohanty's appeal and told her counsel: "It's a serious case of medical negligence. How can you leave a pad inside an abdomen?"

The counsel pressed the request to set aside the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission's (NCDRC) saying the doctor had become a victim of rivalry between two local nursing houses. The bench dismissed the appeal.

Rap for Haryana
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Haryana government not to declare the results of over 15,000 posts for government school teachers till it decides on an appeal filed by 11,000 temporary teachers against a Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict.

The bench took a dig at the government for appointing "guest lecturers" and letting them continue for years before making permanent recruitments.

"How can the education system function with temporary teachers? One government officer appoints temporary teachers to save money and when his seat is taken over by another, the new one decides to hire permanent teachers. The system cannot function this way," the court said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2010 00:02 IST