Women in live-in relationships are like concubines: Rajasthan human rights body

The Rajasthan Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Wednesday issued an order asking the state government and the Centre to “prohibit” the practice of live-in relationships.

A bench of the Rajasthan Human Rights Commission went so far as to claim that women who opt for live-in relationships are like “concubines”.

The order in this regard was passed by Justice Mahesh Chand Sharma and Justice Prakash Tantia who cited various Supreme Court decisions for the same. They claimed that it was the responsibility of the state and centre to prohibit such relations.

“It is imperative to stop the practice of live-in relationships, and it is the responsibility of the state and Central government to prohibit it,” the order of Rajasthan HRC said.

The bench opined that it felt necessary to define the term ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ which has not been defined in the Protection fo Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

In live-in relationships, a woman has to sacrifice her right to a dignified life, the bench said.

They gave the example of a married man who maintains the home of another woman and “uses her mainly for a sexual purpose and/or as a servant”.

“We think it is necessary to interpret it because a large number of cases will be coming up before the Courts in our country on this point, and hence an authoritative decision is required,” the bench said in its order.

Justices Sharma and Tantia further said that the conditioning of women “like concubines” was against their basic human rights as stated in Article 21 of the Constitution.

The commission added that it had invited suggestions from stakeholders, including police and the civil society, on whether a law be enacted to provide security to women in live-in relationships.

It said since women in live-in relationships are not able to secure their fundamental rights, it was the duty of the state government and human right activists to run awareness campaigns against such cohabitation outside marital boundaries.