'Women in Live-in Akin to Concubines': Rajasthan Human Rights Body

Rajasthan Human Rights Commission demands a ban on live-in relationships under the pretext of 'dignity' for women.

Updated
India
2 min read
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The Rajasthan Human Rights Commission demanded on Wednesday, 4 September, that the state government enact a law against live-in relationships to secure the rights of women to live a dignified life in society.

A bench of the State Human Rights Commission, comprising Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice (Retired) Mahesh Chandra Sharma, who is the chief of Rajasthan Human Rights commission, sent a recommendation letter in this regard to the chief secretary and the additional chief secretary (Home Department), urging the state to enact a law and also request the Centre to follow suit.

The chief of Rajasthan Human Rights commission said that women in these relationships are "akin to concubines,” NDTV reported.

Mahesh Chandra Sharma as High Court Judge had earlier sparked controversy over “peacocks don’t have sex with peahen,” remark.

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

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.

It is the duty of the state and the central governments to take immediate steps and prohibit live-in relationships by enacting a law, the bench added.

According to NDTV, rights activist Kavita Srivastav called the judgment as “extremely retrograde” and that it needed to be condemned.

'Live-In Relationship Recognised by Legislature': SC

In May 2018, the Supreme Court of India stood by the freedom of choice where it held that an adult couple has a right to live together without marriage.

The top court had said that live-in relationships were now even recognised by the Legislature and they had found a place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

In another judgment, the court said Parliament has to introduce proper legislation to protect women and children born out of such relationships, reported NDTV.

The apex court’s list of conditions that are required for a relationship to be “in the nature of marriage” includes: the man and the woman are unmarried, of legal age to marry and "hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses,” NDTV reported.

In 2017, the then Rajasthan High Court judge Mahesh Sharma sparked an internet meltdown with his claim that the peacock is the most sanskari of all birds. He had said, “A peacock is a lifelong celibate. It never has sex with a peahen. A peahen gives birth after it gets impregnated with the peacock’s tears.”

Social Media Reacts

Twitter users reacted to Rajasthan Human Rights Commission’s demand that the government should enact a law against live-in relationships. While some questioned why “ire is solely directed at women”, others reiterated Supreme Court’s order.

(With inputs from PTI, NDTV)

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