PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF MARRIAGE LAWS DURING TIMES OF PANDEMIC IN INDIA
As it is rightly said that, "Closer you come to a person, more real they are to you and more real they are to you, more are the chances of misjudging them." But, on the contrary, it can also be the case that a companion does not misjudge their partner when they over-stay with each other. Well, that may be the case. But in today's impatient generation, if someone gets that sort of partner, he/ she should consider himself/ herself lucky. And during these months of lockdown due to the corona pandemic, a significant increase in the number of cases of domestic violence has been noticed. Cases of drunken beating, Violence due to lack of employment, heated arguments turned to violence, over-staying at home caused more disagreements between husbands and wives, which ultimately led to divorces, etc. Consequently, this has caused a considerable rise in the cases of domestic violence and divorce during this pandemic time.
PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005
This Act had been enacted by the Parliament of India to protect women from Domestic Violence. Here, the term "violence" has a much broader meaning than just violence. It implies emotional/verbal, sexual, and financial violence. Domestic violence Is defined by Section 3 of the Act; any act, omission, or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in cases if it harms or endangers the health, safety, or life of a woman.
WHO SPECIFICALLY CAN FILE A COMPLAINT IN CASE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCES?
Primarily acts of violence and misbehavior have been performed against women. So, she can be the one filing the case against her husband or any of his relatives who mistreat her. But there can be cases where women may not be well aware of her rights under this Act. In such cases, anyone from her side, which tends to help her or save her from the violence which she is facing can file a complaint in favor of aggrieved women.
RISE AND FALL IN THE TYPES OF CASES DURING THE TIMES OF CORONACORONA
As mentioned above, a considerable hike has been observed in the cases of domestic violence and divorces during this pandemic. But, on the other hand, cases of kidnapping, road accidents, harassment on roads, robberies, stealing, etc. have been reduced. Indoor violence has been reported frequently these days, which increased more after the re-opening of liquor shops. This advancement in indoor cases and reduction in outdoor cases has been a major national issue these days.
CHILD CUSTODY UNDER HINDU LAW
Under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, the custody of all children below the age of 5 years is given to the mother. The custody of boys and the unmarried girl is given to the father. The custody of illegitimate children is given to the mother and then the father. At the same time, the guardianship of a married girl is given to her husband. The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, exists in harmony with the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
Usually, three types of custodies can be awarded to the parents by the Indian Courts.
1.) Physical custody of the child- It Means that the child shall live with the parent who is granted physical custody. The other parent is awarded visitation rights.
2.) Legal custody of the child- It means that the parents have the right to make crucial decisions regarding educational and religious upbringing, financial support, and medical care.
3.) Joint custody of the child- It means in which both parents enjoy equal physical and legal rights over their children. Though Indian law has no provisions for shared parenting, the Indian Judiciary is taking a review on this.
MAINTENANCE UNDER HINDU LAW
Under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Section 25, either wife or husband is entitled to receive from the spouse for her maintenance and support a gross sum or monthly or periodical sum for a term not exceeding the applicant's lifetime or until he she remarries or remains chaste. Under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, Section 18, Hindu wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband during her lifetime. The wife also has a right to separate residence and maintenance if any of the conditions in Section 18(2) is fulfilled until she remains chaste or does not convert to other religion. Another point that must be noted is that a widowed wife is to be maintained by her father-in-law.
LIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS AND LAW IN INDIA
In particular, there is no specific law and provisions under the law which lay down the rights of couples in live-in relationships in India. However, the courts have clarified the concept of live-in relationships through various judgments. Live-in relations, in simpler terms, can be explained as a relationship like a marriage where both partners enjoy individual freedom and live in a shared household without being married to each other. It involves continuously involved inhabitation and societal acceptance in filing complaints against a partner in case of domestic violence in a live-in relationship. As similar to the definition of term "violence" in the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 for married couples, here also the term "violence" has a broader meaning. It deals with emotional/ verbal, sexual as well as financial violence.
LANDMARK JUDGMENTS OVER THE YEARS IN CASES OF LIVE- IN RELATIONSHIPS
S. KHUSHBOO L. KANNIAMMAL & ANR, 2010
The Supreme Court, in this case, dropped all the charges against the petitioner, who was a south Indian actress. The petitioner was charger under Section 499 of the IPC. And it was also claimed that the petitioner endorsed pre-marital sex and live-in relationship the court held that living together is not illegal in the eyes of the law even if it is considered immoral in the eyes of the conservative sections of Indian society. The court held that living together is not wrong and, therefore, not illegal.
Marriages are considered a sacred bond for ages. According to Indian culture, separation and divorces are seen as shameful conduct, which makes a woman be seen as impatient, uncultured, and shameless by the people of society. But this does not provide any rights to her husband and in-laws to mistreat her emotionally, sexually, or financially. If they do so, then a responsible woman should not bear any violence and should take action against it. And during these days of the pandemic in India, these cases have emerged at a great pace. So, some of the practical applications of marriage laws in India have been discussed above.