In an important order, the Bombay High Court said that a physical relationship between a man and a woman by choice or by chance or by accident does not fall under the the definition of marriage under Hindu laws.
It also pointed out that a baby born out of such an encounter and if the couple has not been married will have no rights over the father's property.
The strong observations were made by a single-judge bench of Justice Mridula Bhatkar of the Bombay High Court who said,''Broadly, either customary solemnisation of marriage is required or performance of legal formality is a condition precedent to label that relationship as a marriage. Any sexual intercourse which took place by choice or by chance or by accident is not a marriage.''
Justice Bhatkar also pointed out at the rise in live-in relationships in the Indian society, that is now-a-days accepted as a particular mode of social bonding like marriage.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, marriage, even if subsequently declared as void, has to be proved to decide the rights of the child.