Register live-ins or face jail term up to 3 months, says UCC bill | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Register live-ins or face jail term up to 3 months, says UCC bill

By, Dehradun
Feb 07, 2024 09:38 AM IST

In case the live-in relationship is terminated, the registrar will have to be informed, who will then inform the other partner

All live-in relationships in Uttarakhand will have to be mandatorily registered and failing to do so will attract a prison term of up to three months and a fine of 10,000, or both, the draft Uniform Civil Code has proposed. A child born out of such a relationship will have all the rights and privileges of a legitimate offspring, it has suggested.

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami tables the Uniform Civil Code in state assembly, in Dehradun (ANI)
Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami tables the Uniform Civil Code in state assembly, in Dehradun (ANI)

In case the live-in relationship is terminated, the registrar will have to be informed, who will then inform the other partner. If a woman is deserted in a live-in relationship, he would have to pay maintenance to the women as decided by a competent authority, the draft code has proposed.

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If any of the partners is under 21, the registrar will inform the parents of the couple and will forward the registration to the local police station where the couple is residing, the bill said.

The proposed law defines “live-in relationship” as a relationship where a man and a woman cohabit under a relationship that is in the nature of marriage.

The bill made it obligatory for live-in partners within the state, whether they are residents of Uttarakhand or not, to register their relationship with the registrar within whose jurisdiction they are living. The registrar will examine the application of the partners and conduct an inquiry to find out whether they are following prescribed norms and conditions. The registrar can also summon the partners or any other person for verification and additional information or evidence, it is proposed.

The live-in relationships will not be registered in case the partners fall under the ambit of the prohibited relationship, their “customs and usage are against public policy and morality” and in the case when at least one of the partners is married or is already in a live-in relationship. The live-in relationships will not be registered also when at least one of the partners is a minor or the consent of one of the partners was obtained by force, coercion, undue influence, misrepresentation or fraud, the bill said.

After conducting an inquiry, the registrar will within 30 days of application, register the live-in relationship and issue a certificate or refuse to register, giving reasons for the refusal in writing.

If the registrar comes to know that information provided by the live-in partners is incorrect or suspicious, the officer-in-charge of the local police station will be informed for appropriate action.

If partners fail to register, the registrar on his own or on receiving a complaint or information can issue a notice to then within 30 days, the draft code proposed.

The bill states that those who are in a live-in relationship for more than one month and have not registered will be punished by a judicial magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with a fine not exceeding 10,000, or with both. Those partners who provide false information, or withhold any information that affects the decision of the registrar, will also be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with a fine not exceeding 2,5000, or with both.

Any partner who fails to register after being served notice would be punished on conviction by a judicial magistrate with imprisonment that may extend to six months or with a fine not exceeding 25,000, or with both.

In case the woman is deserted by her live-in partner, “she shall be entitled to claim maintenance from her live-in partner for which she may approach the competent court having jurisdiction over the place where they last cohabited.”

A child born out of a live-in relationship will be a legitimate child of the couple, said the bill, adding it will be for the court where the couple last cohabited to exercise its jurisdiction in pertinent matters, including provision of maintenance to the woman partner who was deserted.

“If a boy and girl are living as roommates, they are not supposed to give any self declaration. There would be no check on them,” a member of the five-member code committee said on the condition of anonymity. “But if a boy and girl don’t give self declaration under the guise of being roommates despite living as live-in partners, the culpability would be on them, if anything happens tomorrow. Declaration is to protect interests of both boy and girl.”

“There could be challenges in implementation the provisions of the live-in relationships,” said Kartikeya Hari Gupta, an advocate in the Uttarakhand high court. “I think more clarity would be there once the rules come.”

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