Kopar Khairane
Interenational

Living together is not a live-in relationship, according to the Kerala High Court

<p>According to a recent ruling by the Kerala High Court, women who live with someone else cannot be subjected to or claim the benefits of penalties under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 498A for cruelty to a married woman.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-246480″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-living-together-is-not-a-live-in-relationship-according-to-the-kerala-high-court-d.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com living together is not a live in relationship according to the kerala high court d” width=”1244″ height=”699″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-living-together-is-not-a-live-in-relationship-according-to-the-kerala-high-court-d.jpg 299w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-living-together-is-not-a-live-in-relationship-according-to-the-kerala-high-court-d-150×84.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1244px) 100vw, 1244px” title=”Living together is not a live-in relationship, according to the Kerala High Court 6″>According to Justice Sophy Thomas, a woman must be married to a man who has been accused of cruelty or to a man whose family members have been charged with cruelty in order to file a claim for relief under Section 498A.</p>
<p>According to Justice Thomas, who was quoted by Bar and Bench, “When there is some form of marriage—religious or customary—that has the appearance of a legal marriage, the woman can also seek protection under Section 498A of the IPC even if later, for some reason, that marriage is found to be invalid in the eyes of law. However, where there was no formalization of the marriage and simply a live-in relationship based on a marriage arrangement, the woman cannot seek refuge under Section 498A of the IPC on the grounds that they had pretended to be husband and wife during their protracted cohabitation.</p>
<p>The court made this statement while deciding whether to convict and punish a man and his family under IPC sections 498A and 306 (abetting suicide) for the 1997 death of a lady.</p>
<p>According to Bar and Bench, the lady committed herself by lighting herself on fire after reportedly experiencing maltreatment and harassment as a result of eloping with the accused guy.</p>
<p>As the lady committed herself a few months after the pair started living together, a sessions court in 1998 found the guy guilty and punished him, along with his parents and brother.</p>
<p>In 2000, the defendant appealed the verdict, and the man and his family’s appeals were partially granted by an appellate court. To be “honorably acquitted” in the case, the guy also filed an appeal with the Kerala High Court, according to Bar and Bench.</p>
<p>The top court accepted the plea on October 12 of this year and reversed the convictions.</p>
<p>The pair was living together under a “marriage agreement” that had no legal standing, according to the court, and they weren’t even officially married. It claimed that because the pair was not married, the session court’s conclusions were incorrect.</p>
<p>According to the High Court, “in the case at hand, since the marriage between the 1st revision petitioner and deceased was not solemnized, and they started living together on the basis of a marriage agreement, which has no legal sanctity in the eyes of the law, they have to be treated as persons in live-in-relation, and they were not husband and wife, in order to attract an offence punishable under Section 498A of the IPC.”</p>
<p>According to Bar & Bench, the court noticed that the lady did not make any accusations against the man or his family in her deathbed statement, which led to the conviction of the accused for aiding suicide being overturned as well.</p>
<p>While the case was still being heard, the accused’s parents died away. The court also noted that the accusations against the parents were still pending.</p>
<p>The state was represented by Public Prosecutor Nima Jacob, while the revision petitioners were represented by KP Balagopal.</p>
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