BJP criticises live-in relationship Act

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Mumbai, Oct 10 (UNI) Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Shaina N C today criticised the state government for its decision to give legal rights to women in live-in relationships.

This initiative to bestow legal status to a woman in a live-in relationship with a man, although revolutionary, could be grossly misused, the fashion designer told reporters here today.

The government had decided to amend the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Sec 125, with a view to protect the interests and rights of the so-called mistress or 'other woman', subject to the central government's approval.

According to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, there is no provision for a second wife among Hindus, hence enabling the mistress to get the status of a legally married wife in all matters, including share in property, inheritance, maintenance is totally contrary to the Hindu Marriage Act and to our Indian customs, she said.

It follows, therefore, that unless the marriage is 'celebrated' or performed with proper ceremonies and due form, it cannot be said to be solemnized. It is therefore essential, for the purpose of Section 17 of the Act, that the marriage to which sec 494, IPC applies on account of the provisions of the act, should have been celebrated with proper ceremonies and in due form.

Merely going through certain ceremonies with the intention that the parties be taken to be married, will not make the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by any established custom. Hence 'live-in' relationships should not be given the legal sanction, Ms Shaina said.

''The proposed amendment has immense potential for misuse, both by men and women. Men facing turbulent marriages or fighting divorce cases can now simply ignore these impediments and get on in life with the 'other woman', who will be accorded legal status,'' she observed.

''There is strong apprehension that women in pursuit of monetary gains can also blatantly misuse it,'' she added.

While on one hand, the state government is playing the role of moral police by banning dance bars and immoral activities, it is surprising that the government is actually encouraging or legalizing illicit relationships with the newly proposed amendment, she added.

UNI JM SR MIR AS1947

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