The Domestic Violence Act 2005 recognizing the male-female live-in relationship is bearing fruits. As per this Act, the male and female partners without matrimonial alliance had been officially treated at par with the married couples.
Then on October 26, 2008, Fana Watch (See “Domestic Violence Act Recognises Male-Female Live-in Relationship?” in Society, News Section) had raised questions the following questions: Are we moving towards the existentialism philosophy of the controversial French ideologue and writer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and his lifelong live-in partner Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)? And, are we ready to encourage the relations, still considered immoral in our society? What would be the impact of the government notification upon the new generation in India?
Now after a period of one-and half a year, it seems that the apprehensions of Fana Watch have come true. It is quite surprising that the organizations, like RSS, Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad as well as Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and other Muslim organizations talking about moral degeneration are silent on the issue. Not a single group to any religion has raised a voice against this all.
It is to point that in a judgment that expands the ambit of the Domestic Violence Act, the Delhi High Court has on April 8, 2008 held that the law protected not only a man's wife but also a 'mistress' or a live-in partner. "We find no reason why equal treatment should not be accorded to a wife as well as a woman who has been living with a man as his common-law wife or even as a mistress," a Bench comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and P K Bhasin said.
The Bench passed the judgment on a petition filed by a man for quashing criminal proceedings against him on the complaint filed by his live-in partner. Rejecting the plea of the petitioner, the court said that in a case of women having live-in relationships with a man it could be fairly assumed that the relationship was initiated by the man.
"Like treatment to both (wives and mistress) does not, in any manner, derogate from the sanctity of marriage since an assumption can fairly be drawn that a live-in relationship is invariably initiated and perpetuated by the male," the Bench said. The Bench said that in dealing with such cases "the court should also not be impervious to social stigma which always sticks to women and not to the men".