Live-in partner who doesn’t legally end ties with wife lacks bona fides: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Live-in partner who doesn’t legally end ties with wife lacks bona fides: Punjab and Haryana High Court

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that a man, who did not legitimately end matrimonial alliance with the biological mother of his children before entering into a live-in relationship with another woman, apparently lacked bona fides. - File photo

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that a man, who did not legitimately end matrimonial alliance with the biological mother of his children before entering into a live-in relationship with another woman, apparently lacked bona fides.

Justice Arun Monga was hearing a protection plea filed by a father of two, who is in a live-in relationship with a widow. On a pointed court query regarding the status of the previous marriage of the live-in partners, the counsel representing the couple told Justice Monga’s Bench that the male partner was married, but his wife had deserted him to live with another partner.

He had a 19-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter in the wedlock. Both were in his custody. The widow, on the other hand, had two sons, aged 12 and seven. The counsel submitted that the live-in relationship was merely for the sake of better upbringing of the four children. Elaborating, he added both petitioners had decided to live under the same roof for providing better co-parenting.

Justice Monga asserted that the intention of both petitioners may have been noble, “one does not know though”. But what appeared to be incongruous on the male partner’s part was that he had not taken steps till date to file appropriate matrimonial proceedings seeking divorce on the grounds of desertion or otherwise as provided under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Justice Monga observed the male partner claimed he was compelled to provide motherly care to his children through the woman partner since his wife had deserted him. “But from his inaction to legitimately end his matrimonial alliance from the biological mother of his children, there appears to be lack of bona fides on his part”.

Justice Monga added that the grounds to interfere were not made out. However, it would be travesty of justice in case the woman was to suffer any risk to her life and liberty. As such, she deserved to be protected to that extent. This was to avoid any possibility of the woman being put to unnecessary perils.

Before parting with the case, Justice Monga directed the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned to look into the widow’s threat perception. “In case, so warranted, provide her with the mobile number of a lady police official to whom she can approach, in case of any untoward incident at odd hours, in case, she feels any threat to her life,” Justice Monga concluded. 

What the judge said

Justice Monga asserted that the intention of both petitioners may have been noble, "one does not know though". But what appeared to be incongruous on the male partner's part was that he had not taken steps till date to file appropriate matrimonial proceedings seeking divorce on the grounds of desertion or otherwise as provided under the Hindu Marriage Act.

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