Aanchal Singh

| @ | April 3,2019

What is a Domestic Relationship?

Section 2(f) of the DV Act defines “domestic relationship”, extending its ambit to “relationship in the nature of marriage” and thus extending its protection to women whose marriage are invalid or void under law, or who haven’t gone through a formal marriage with their partners (live-in relationships), but are otherwise as good as a married couple.

 

Read Part I: What is Domestic Violence? An introduction to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

 

What is the meaning of Relationship in nature of marriage?

The meaning of “relationship in nature of marriage” was first considered by the Supreme Court in the matter of Veluswamy v. Patchaiammal, where a relationship in the nature of marriage was said to be akin to common law marriages. The Supreme Court laid down the essentials of a common law marriage as follows:

  1. the couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses;

  2. they must be of legal age to marry; 

  3. they must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried; and 

  4. they must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time. 


 

Read Part II: Part II | The Domestic Violence Act : Definitions

 

What is the Difference between Live-In Relationship and Relationship in Nature of Marriage?

It was cleared by the Supreme Court that merely spending weekends together or one night stands, exchanging sexual favours in return of financial favours are not considered to be “relationship in nature of marriage”. In Indra Sarma v. V.K.V Sarma the Supreme Court differentiated between a relationship in nature of marriage and a live-in relationship. The Supreme Court gave eight factors which should be considered while deciding whether a relationship can be covered as one in the nature of marriage:

  1. Duration of a relationship: a reasonable period of time. It may vary from case to case and fact to fact.
  2. Shared Household
  3. Pooling resources and shared financial arrangements
  4. Domestic Arrangements
  5. Sexual Relationship
  6. Children
  7. Public Socialiaation
  8. Intention and conduct

The above list of factors is not an exhaustive list.

  

In case of women who are/were married, who all can ask for relief under the DV Act?

Second wives, divorced wives, divorced Muslim wives, widows are all entitled to obtain relief under the DV Act.

 

For any questions and clarifications please contact the author at aanchalsingh168@gmail.com.

 

Read Part I: What is Domestic Violence? An introduction to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

 

Read Part II: Part II | The Domestic Violence Act : Definitions

 

Part IV will discuss the existing mechanisms under the Act which assist women in filing complaints under the DV Act.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Scroll Up