Live-in Relationships: Adult couple can live together without marriage – Supreme Court

  • Recently an adult couple was given the right by the Supreme Court to live together without marriage while on the other hand, there were assertions that a 20-year-old Kerala woman is an adult and free to decide whom she wants to live with.
  • The top court continued that live-in relationships are also acknowledged by the Legislature. It has also found a spot under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
  • The court also noted while affirming that the 20-year-old Kerala woman, whose marriage was revoked, is free to choose whom she wanted to live with.

What are the important points that the honourable court has come up with?

  • The SC affirmed that the Kerala couple’s marriage cannot be said to be void or invalid simply because the groom was less than 21 years of age at the time of marriage.
  • The court also stated that as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 this marriage of the appellant, as well as Thushara, who are Hindus is not a void.
  • This case also highlights that when both the partners are major and even when they were not qualified to enter into wedlock, then they still have the right to live together even outside wedlock.
  • The court also cited a recent case where another woman from Kerala, had restored her marriage with her husband on the ground that their marriage was between two consenting adults.
  • The Supreme Court also threw light on the fact that no court can intervene in the marriage of two consenting adults. It cannot annul the marriage in a habeas corpus.

What is a Void Marriage?

  • A void marriage is one which is illegal as per the laws of the jurisdiction where it is entered.
  • It is void and invalid from its beginning, it is as if the marriage never existed and thus needs no formality to terminate.