Couples who have premarital sex to be considered ‘married,’ says HC

I didn’t understand this verdict.

What is the difference between Premarital sex, Live in Relationship and Marriage?

Does this means breakups after any relationship become a legal procedure if the couple has had sex? Who benefits from this?

Link shared by Dr Arun

Couples who have premarital sex to be considered ‘married,’ says HC

“If any unmarried couple of the right legal age “indulge in sexual gratification,” this will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed “husband and wife,” the Madras High Court has ruled in a judgment that gives a new twist to the concept of premarital sex.

The court said that if a bachelor has completed 21 years of age and an unmarried woman 18 years, they have acquired the freedom of choice guaranteed by the Constitution. “Consequently, if any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations.”

The court said marriage formalities as per various religious customs such as the tying of a mangalsutra, the exchange of garlands and rings or the registering of a marriage were only to comply with religious customs for the satisfaction of society.

The court further said if necessary either party to a relationship could approach a Family Court for a declaration of marital status by supplying documentary proof for a sexual relationship. Once such a declaration was obtained, a woman could establish herself as the man’s wife in government records. “Legal rights applicable to normal wedded couples will also be applicable to couples who have had sexual relationships which are established.”

The court also said if after having a sexual relationship, the couple decided to separate due to difference of opinion, the ‘husband’ could not marry without getting a decree of divorce from the ‘wife’.”

While any man (or woman) should be required to provide child-support to any children they have within or outside marriage, but does acknowledging paternity mean they are also admitting that they are married to the mother?

And should any child be seen as legitimate or illegitimate?

“In this case, the man had signed in the ‘live birth report’ of his second child and given his consent for a Caesarean section for its birth. As such, he had officially admitted that she was his wife.”

“It is not disputed that the petitioner has been a spinster before she gave birth and that the respondent was a bachelor before developing sexual relationship with the petitioner. Both of them led their marital life under the same shelter and begot two children. Therefore, the petitioner’s rank has been elevated as the `wife’ of the respondent and likewise, the respondent’s rank has been elevated as the `husband’ of the petitioner. Therefore, the children born to them are legitimate children and the petitioner is the legitimate wife of the respondent.”

And what about couples who are in Live in relationships? Are they going to be considered married too?

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47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock.

47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock. [Link].

I think this indicates that their society has learnt to respect all citizens irrespective of the parents’ marital status. I hope we see India do the same.

Then news like this would not be so common,

Abandoned newborn girl dies in Gurgaon (six days ago)

Eight-day-old baby boy found abandoned in Gurgaon

If she was born somewhere else.

But it seems some people don’t see it this way. It is assumed that the parents not being married to each other automatically indicates that the child would not know who the father is, and that is seen as the worse thing that could happen to a child. Perhaps, worse than being abandoned near a garbage heap.

Wonder how common is this mindset.

“Country of Bastards….soon father will marry his daughter and brother will marry his sister as child born out of marriage lock have high probability of marrying mistakenly to their own siblings….”

And,

“wow then future generations can marry their siblings without knowing it. going back to beginning of mankind”

Related Posts:

Pregnant at fifteen? No moral issues. Unmarried and pregnant at fifteen. Degeneration of society.

An email: Child out of wedlock

What would Taliban say to Juno?

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

When life ends at 12.

No second chances for an Indian daughter.

Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

A clandestine affair may prove dangerous, a city girl learnt it the hard way.

N D Tiwari’s Right to Reputation, in a Patriarchy losing its power to ‘silence with shame’.

Why is bastard a dirty word?

Because it implies that the mother had sex with a man she was not married to.

Discussions in some comments sections on the internet indicate that some Indians think one way to insult men is to tell them they fathered them.

How is having fathered someone an insult to that person?

Because it implies that the one intending to insult had sex with the mother of the person they are insulting.

Difficult to understand?

Some people see sex or relationships with female-relatives-of-men (mothers, sisters, wives, daughters) as means to insult men.

(Doesn’t it make a man with female relatives easier to insult? And are such men able to have healthy relationships with women in their lives?)

But what happens when the child a man has fathered refuses to see shame in being born to a woman who was not married to that father?

That’s N D Tiwari’s story.

Rohit Shekhar refused to be ashamed of something he had no reason to be ashamed of. And I am glad to predict that we will see more such stories in future.

Rohit Shekhar fought a long court battle (time line) to prove that N D Tiwari was his biological father. He also made it clear that he wasn’t desperate to be a ‘legitimate’ child or to add the biological father’s name to his name.

He says,

‘You Are My Illegitimate Father’

I am probably the first person in the world to fight to be proven a bastard. People seek to be recognised as legitimate heirs. People seek dignity. But I want the world to know that I am the illegitimate son of Mr ND Tiwari.

Justice JS Ravindra Bhat wrote, ‘The court is of opinion that “legitimacy” and “paternity” are both valid interests of the child that may be accorded recognition under Indian law without prejudice to each other. While “legitimacy” may be established by a legal presumption, “paternity”has to be established by science and other reliable evidence.’

What will become of feudalism and patriarchy without it’s power to ‘silence with shame’?

“Shekhar said he would also pursue a case filed before the Supreme Court seeking that words like ‘concubine’, ‘bastard’ and ‘illegitimate’ be struck off from the law books. “In a century where we have legalized live-in relationships there is no room for such words in our law and they should be removed,” Shekhar told TOI …”  [link]

Here are three interviews (in Hindi) which give a detailed picture of this case.

Video 1
Interview with Rohit Shekhar: He says he was not fighting for his father’s name, he was fighting for his right. (the news channel seems to insist that Raj Shekhar was desperate to add his biological father’s name to his name)

Video 2

Interview: Ujwala Sharma

Video 3

Interview: Rohit Shekhar’s grandmother
According to this interview, Rohit Shekhar mother was living with his grandmother (nani). N D Tiwari ‘chased’ her, sent her notes and told her he was childless and would adopt the child born out of their relationship.

This case also reminded me of Imran Khan’s daughter Tyrian.

I think, first contraception, and now DNA testing and paternity suits are going to change the way women (and men) have sex. Technology seems to be making us more civilized.

Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?

Here are some commonly heard arguments against Live-in Relationships. (I picked these from the comments on ‘Live-in relationships in general are inherently advantageous to men and disadvantageous to women?‘)

The basic premise seems to be that Marriage gives women and ‘their’ children ‘Respect and Acceptance’ in society while Live in Relationships don’t.

My questions.

1. How have women and their children (and even the society) benefited from this dependence of women (and their children) on ‘Respect’ and ‘Acceptance by Society’?

2. Could this Respect be a trap that restricts and rules women’s lives, choices, sexuality, happiness and freedom?

3. Is it possible that women might live better lives if they did not have to depend upon the ‘Acceptance by the Society;? (Like most other people?)

Here’s the comment.

“If a woman is not careful in her selection, she may end up becoming a bed partner of the man , without the associated commitments and responsibilities.

The man gets a temporary disposable wife. A use and throw kind of wife.”

If that is true, then doesn’t the woman also get a temporary disposable partner? If both are uncommitted, and if neither is being forced or exploited, then why is it seen as wrong? How and who does this harm?

But it is believed that women do not want ‘temporary disposable partners’ while men don’t miss a chance to find one.

Gender Stereotypes. Men are insensitive, commitment-phobes, women are desperately looking for marriage (and if they dare to admit they aren’t, they must be sluts – this doesn’t apply as strongly to men because ‘men are like that only’).

“Women I like to believe will not chase a man for the sole purpose of sharing his bed. Their needs are emotional and much more sophisticated.”

Women are people too. They may want to do all the things that everybody else does. Not all women are emotional, and men can be emotional too.

And of course a woman can chase a man just for sharing his bed, with no desire to marry him.

This is one of the reasons why Patriarchy disallowed premarital sex (mainly for women). Maybe because in the past, it put a man at risk of raising a child who did not carry his genes.  To ensure ‘purity of lineage’ strict rules were laid down,  unwed mothers were not allowed to raise their children on her own. Widows could, but that was acceptable, because they were married when they got pregnant. It was made mandatory for every child to be known by their father’s name.

Did it harm some children?

The child’s well being was not a big concern. Lineage was.

“At the risk of putting it crudely, a live in relationship in some cases may end up as a multiple night stand instead of a one night stand for the man. Mature men and women may be an exception to this rule.

I don’t expect this statement to go down well with live in enthusiasts. But this is my secret inner fear.”

Assuming this is the case, if there is no force, exploitation or abuse – how does it matter to anybody else what two consenting adults do in their personal lives? What makes it wrong?

“It is always the woman who bears the brunt of pregnancy.”

That should, can and is being changed. If a woman wants, she can ensure that the man provides child support. This would be only as inconvenient as dealing with an irresponsible but married father.

“It is the woman more likely to be emotionally and psychologically scarred if the relationship terminates.

Men are crude thick skinned creatures.”

Any relationship exposes those involved to pain. Men are not thick skinned creatures, although they are expected to hide their feelings. Devdas was a man too. Drinking, smoking, violence, acid throwing, stalking, aggression, murder, and suicide are seen as manly ways to deal with pain or rejection. 

“They will simply look for fresh prey.”

Relationships are not about trophies, hunting and preys. Men and women both might see relationships as conquests.

“After getting pregnant, if they choose to have the baby, they are denying their children a legal and socially acceptable father.”

Sushmita Sen has two adopted daughters, no husband. Neena Gupta has one biological daughter – no husband. Thousands of widows in India have no source of income, they suffer abuse and raise children alone. Which children of these single mothers do you think have better lives?

In the past Indian society never cared about children (and not just girl children) – children were seen only as ‘budhape ka sahara’, brought up on Shravan Kumar stories. Children were told the parents did them a favor by ‘bringing them to this world’ and by caring for them.

Thankfully parents are becoming more matured and responsible now, one hears about mutual respect, love, care and support. And less about a child ‘repaying’ the parents’ karz’ (debt).

“Right or wrong, men will find it easier to get married later if they walk out of a live in relationship.

Right or wrong, women will find their live in relationship another handicap if they change their mind.”

That is if she wants to marry. And if she wants to marry a man who wants to marry a woman who has never been in a relationship.

Which brings me back to this post – what if women saw marriage as just another option in life and not their life purpose? Don’t you think that might open up a universe of previously unseen options for them?

“A loving caring environment is not enough. A child needs a father. Ask any orphan. It needs a mother, a grandfather, grandmother, cousins and uncles and aunts too.”

If the society realises that children need all this then why do we deprive children born out of marriage from all this?

Our social rules are not child-friendly.

Live in Relationships might actually bring more acceptance to children of both gender.

1. Independent women who see more to life than Geting Married and Staying Married will make being a woman easier in our society, they would then be seen as an asset to the society, and so more girls would be allowed to be born/live.

2. All children, no matter whether their parents were married or not would be able to live with their mothers/families. I know of a mother who did not sign the documents for her child to be made available for adoption, for three years after the child’s birth, because she was hoping the child’s father would marry her. Now the solution is not that she should not have had the child (because that solution has not worked for centuries) – the solution is she shouldn’t have had to bother whether she was married or not. Today this is possible, and high time.

The society/law makers are becoming aware of every child’s right to live with dignity.

Live-in Relationships might just help make this easier…

“Will a child from a live in relationship enjoy the facility of sitting on the lap of its grandparent and be told a bedtime story? Couples in live in relationships will live by themselves. They may not even welcome the parents of their partner to visit them and neither will these parents like to embarrass their son/daughter by visiting them.”

This would depend on the families and the couple. Married couples could prefer to stay away from their families, and Live in couples might enjoy mingling with their families.

“When a child born out of live in relationship, meets and mingles with normal children of married parents, how can you gauge what feelings it experiences?”

If the families(/extended families/social circle) care for their grand children(/their children’s friends) they will not misguide their children to treat other children differently for any reasons.

If they don’t understand, then the parents might choose to avoid those who treat their children differently. Remember the need to mingle is mutual and given a choice, matured parents would rather have their children playing with well brought up children, irrespective of whether or not their parents have a marriage certificate.

“What next? Will live in enthusiasts accept the next stage in this progression?

What if some of you feel ” Why have a live in relationship with just one person? Why not have more these and experiment with A, B, C etc.? Let the other partner also experiment with P, Q, R at the same time. Live with different partners for a month each and see which partner is best””

This can happen in a marriage also. And much worse, when consenting partners are not found, they might stoop to force, Strauss Kahn and Shiney Ahuja are just two examples.