Monday, October 4, 2010

Maintenance for concubines? SC to decide

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine whether a live-in partner , concubine or a girlfriend is entitled to maintenance even though under existing Indian laws she is not eligible. The apex court passed the direction while chiding a man who was in a intimate relationship with a woman for 14 years but refused to pay her maintenance on the ground that she was not legally entitled to it.

A bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur appointed senior counsel Jayant Bhushan to assist the court on the issue and posted the matter for further hearing on Wednesday. The bench said though Indian laws may not permit it yet, there was no reason why such benefit should not be extended to a live-in-partner and cited ruling of a Californian court in the US, which had ordered similar relief by invoking the doctrine of" palimony" .

"You had spent 14 years with her. She lost her youth but you do not want to pay anything to her. She might not have been legally married to you but you have an obligation," Justice Katju told the plaintiff. PTI

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