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Live-in relationships are leading to rise in sexual offences, promiscuity: Madhya Pradesh HC

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Indore, Apr 20: The "bane of live-in relationship", a "byproduct" of rights conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution, is leading to a rise in sexual offences and promiscuity, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has said.

Live-in relationships are leading to rise in sexual offences, promiscuity: Madhya Pradesh HC

Justice Subodh Abhyankar of the Indore bench of the high court made the observation while rejecting a pre-arrest (anticipatory) bail plea of a 25-year-old man accused of raping a woman.

In the order dated April 12, the court said, "Taking note of the spurt of such offences in recent times arising out of live-in relationships, this court is forced to observe that the bane of live-in-relationship is a by-product of Constitutional guarantee as provided under Art. 21, engulfing the ethos of Indian society, and promoting lascivious behaviour, giving further rise to sexual offences." Article 21 guarantees the right to life and personal liberty.

The courts, over the years, have widened its ambit to cover many things including the right to dignity and privacy.

Highlighting the rise in legal disputes arising out of live-in relationships, the high court said, "Those who wanted to exploit this freedom are quick to embrace it, but are totally ignorant that it has its own limitations, and does not confer any right on any of the partners to such relationship."

The case diary and documents revealed that the complainant woman got pregnant more than twice and aborted the foetus under pressure from the applicant (her then live-in partner), the court noted. When their relationship fell apart, the woman got engaged to some other person, but the applicant, "being a jilted lover" resorted to blackmailing her, the judge said.

The applicant even sent video messages to the would-be in-laws of the woman where he threatened that he would commit suicide and they would also be held responsible for it besides the woman's family, the court noted.

This led to the cancellation of the woman's marriage, the high court said, citing the prosecution's case. Amit Singh Sisodia argued on behalf of the state government in this case.

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