In a significant ruling, Kerala High Court has held that a woman is entitled to get protection under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act even if she was in a live-in relationship.
'What was intended under Sect 2(a) of the Act was a relationship of the same nature as marriage and nothing more', Justice K Harilal said in his order yesterday while dismissing a petition filed by a man hailing from Cherthala in Alapuzha district against a complaint from his live-in partner seeking protection from domestic violence and compensation.
According to Justice Harilal, "The couple must have lived together akin to spouses. That alone is sufficient. The legislature intent of the Act itself is to give protection to the women who were living with the husband in the nature of a marriage without a legal marriage."
The petitioner's contention was that the complainant was not a wife as per Sect 2(f) of the act and there was no domestic relationship them.
The Supreme Court has also specially stated they must have attained legal age of marriage and they must have lived together as spouses for a significant period of time, the court pointed out.