SC orders ‘no-relief’ for the partner in ‘Live-in’ relationship with a married man
New Delhi, 29th November 2013:
The Apex Court has ordered ‘no relief’ to the woman, especially when she would have known his marital status, indulged in ‘Live-in’ relationship with a man who has been come out of the marriage under Domestic Violence Act.
Seeking compensation under DV Act, a woman in relationship with a married man would not be termed under the clause ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ by the court. The foretold DV act is the basic requirement to get entitled for seeking maintenance from the ‘erring’ partner by a woman as stated by a jury comprising Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose.
The married man’s wife, who is indulged in ‘Live-in’ relationship, can sue the deserted woman for claiming damages due to making her and her children deprived of love and care as wife.
In such cases, the illiterate women become the worst and wanton sufferers. For their sake, the SC had sent a request to Parliament for taking remedial steps by the means of legislation.
One such case was highlighted in this context under which Indra Sarna began to ‘live-in’ with VKS Sarma who was a married man & father of two children. The man commenced business with her but moved out of the relationship after several years for shifting back to his family.
Indra sued him in Bangalore court and made demand of a house along with a monthly maintenance of Rs 25,000, medical claim and Rs. 3.50 lakh for settling damages.
Having lived for 18 year together, the man left out of the relation. The grievance of a woman overwhelmed the court’s justice who settled her case while imposing maintenance charges of Rs. 18,000 per month under DV Act. The trial court’s decision was upheld by the session court.
But Karnataka High Court rejected the decision of session court since it did not fall in the clause ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’.
Justices Radhakrishnan and Ghose said, “We are of the view that the appellant (Indra Sarma) having been fully aware of the fact that respondent (V K V Sarma) was a married person, could not have entered into a live-in relationship in the nature of marriage”.
“Appellant’s and 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. 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.”
The jury said, “We have, on facts, found that the 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 social reality. Children born out of such relationship also suffer most which calls for bringing in remedial measures by Parliament through proper legislation.”
Keeping the law intact, the court said, “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 (the woman) for alienating the companionship and affection of the husband/parent which an intentional tort.”