Alvida marriages, Salaam live-in
[ 3 Apr, 2007 2124hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
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Live-in scenarios have invariably found space in our living rooms conversations. Not because they are taboo ? of course that too, but because they really have been the ultimate ‘uber cool’ among relationships. In the final analysis, however, if a live-in relationship fails to work, it does exact its toll on individual partners, and worse, until recently ? had no legal sanction to provide for the security of the woman in question. But now, if Supreme Court has its way, live-in relationships will be covered under the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and the man will have to pay alimony if the relationship heads for spiltsville.
LT checks out the impact that this latest modification in the DVA will have for those entering into a live-in relationship. Well-known actor Jaya Bhattacharya who recently broke up with Mazhar Rahim, with whom she had been in a live-in relationship for more than 11 years says, “Such a relationship is not at all different from a marriage and when we separate, alimony shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s good that SC has taken such a step to ensure every woman’s future who steps into such a relationship.” Seconding her opinion is Uttar Pradesh spokesperson of National Commission for Women, Ranjana Bajpai: “It is men who should give alimony because in most of the cases, they are the earning members.”
But just because it has been sanctioned, it doesn’t mean it will be easy to execute too.
Pointing this out is law officer Yogesh Mehta of the NCW: “It is a great idea and was sorely needed but it is not as easy it seems. They will need to gather proper proof in their support to prove that they were in such a relationship.” Former IPS officer and well-known Mumbai-based lawyer YP Singh feels that while “alimony should definitely be given in a genuine case of hardship, it is also a law that has both pros and cons to it. It is silent in case of demand of alimony by men. It could also be misused by the woman in question. Besides, it won’t be easy for a woman to prove that she was in such a relationship in first place.”
And speaking of misuse, the powerful ruling could also see an increase in such cases, feels Singh. But Bhattacharya disagrees. “There are so many youngsters going for live-in relationship but the introduction of this law will hardly become a reason for an increase in such relationships because there are lots of other factors also involved.”
And there are those who feel that it may not reach the stage of ‘maintenance and alimony’ at all. Take the case of Amit Sadh who has been in a live-in relationship with his girlfriend Neeru for a very long time. “I feel that there are minimal chances for such relationship to break but even if they do, it would not reach a stage where one or the other would demand alimony because these relationships are more about mutual understanding vis-