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Gunjan Malhotra (In search of job)     11 January 2010

Live in, without divorcing husband

Can a girl leave her husband and start living with other man without taking divorce from first.

Please note, there is no proof of any second marriage taking place, as the husband is not ready to part legally.


 18 Replies

Ramesh (manager)     11 January 2010

I think yes, becoz it is a basic human right, right to live with whom ever u like with mutual concent.


It is adultery.  The husband is entitled to raise a criminal case against the man with whom she is staying.  If the husband has got grievance against her, the remedy against her is only to file divorce on the ground of adultery and I think, that is what she wants.

V. VASUDEVAN (LEGAL COUNSEL)     11 January 2010

 I agree with the views of Adv.prabhakar


Gunjan Malhotra (In search of job)     11 January 2010

If the husband does not file for divorce, and files criminal case against the man, for living with his wife.  what will be the consequence? As the husband only intends to ruin the girl's life.

Bhavani Sankar Mahanti (Law Officer)     11 January 2010

She can't live with some other man without taking divorce from first one. If she lives first one can file a criminal case against the second person under adultry ground. In this situation she is safe but second person will face the criminal proceedings...


N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     11 January 2010

That section 497 IPC should be scrapped from the statue book as it is discriminatory to the male tribes, and can be misused even by the couples.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     11 January 2010

Gunjan ji,  if a girl lives with a man before her marriage to anybody, it is called live in relation and it is not an offence.Whereas if a woman leaves her husband to live with other man, it becomes "adulty", which is an offence.

An offence is always punishable in law, and so, her husband can file a case against the other man who lives with his wife and the other man will be punished. There is no punishment for the woman under s. 497 IPC.



ritu bhadana (advocate)     11 January 2010

 Well the following news article may help u:-

Rajasthan High Court says yes. 

The court allowed a married woman, Manju, to live with her lover, Suresh. “It is improper to pass an order to hand over any unwilling married woman to her husband with whom she does not want to stay,” said justices GS Mishra and KC Sharma. The court also said that nobody should consider an adult woman as a consumer product. 

While dismissing a habeas corpus petition filed by Manju’s husband, the court came down hard on the misuse of habeas corpus petitions by people who want to thrust their will upon adult women without their consent. The court said the husband was free to approach the family court for divorce. 

Commenting on the judgment, senior Supreme Court advocate and noted women’s rights activist Indira Jaising said, “Though it sounds strange, I am in complete agreement with the high court.” 

"At the end of the day an adult woman has a right to decide whom she wants to live with. She can’t be forced to go with her husband against her will," Jaising said. 

In this case, Jaising said, it is clear that the woman was prepared for divorce. She also felt that Manju’s husband had abused the habeas corpus petition because such petitions were generally filed when somebody is actually missing. 

Asked whether it amounted to adultery, Jaising clarified that the woman could not be prosecuted for this offence under the law. As for the other man, she said, “it seems he is ready to face that”. National Commission for Women Chairperson Girija Vyas said that although it seemed like an important judgment, she could not comment on it since she had not seen it yet.

Manoj Chaudhry, the counsel for Manju and Suresh, had earlier rejected as baseless the allegations that Manju had been kept in illegal confinement by Suresh. 

He said that the duo had been living together by their free will and that the relationship had begun even before Manju had got married.

1 Like

Raghav Sood (Lawyer)     11 January 2010

wife or women is not a cattle she too has feelings its her sweet will to live as per her wish

no man can inflict his desire upon women even if she is his wife

regarding adultry its very diffiult to prove even if the husband files complaint lsser chances

unless there is direct evidence


1 Like

Arup Kumar Gupta, Korba, Chattishgarh ((m)9893058429)     12 January 2010

Ms. malhotra, please see your another thread where i replied something against your question.

If the girl started living with another person, and her first marriage is valid, then her husband can sue the male u/s 497-IPC, which is as follows :-

497. Adultery.--Whoever has s*xual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such s*xual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.

under concerned act of crpc, only husband can sue the second male, and no body else. get it clear first, whether his first marriage is valid or not.

yes, there are two chances to avoid the said sue :-

1)  " reason to believe to be the wife of another man"(sec 497) - if the said second man is sufficient reason to believe that the said woman is not the wife of another male - then prosecution under sec 497 can be avoided. I think you understood me.

2)  I personally believe that sec 497?ipc is ultravires - if you want to go to SC, then contact me for further information. In this regard, see the posting, of ritu bhadana advocate in this thread. collect more information from her.

3)  In Mandir marriage, check whether all formalities, according to law is performed or not. in case of not , it is invalid marriage.

1 Like

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 January 2010

I dont know why Indra Jaising is feeling strange over the classic observations of justices G.S.Mishra and K.C.Sharma, over this issue. That section 497 I PC is a blot on the statue book and the High court has given a correct statements of law in this regards. Its high time to have a fresh look at section 497 of the Indisan Penal Code.

shrikant chede (law officer)     12 January 2010

It is adultery, She can't live with some other man without taking divorce from first one

Aftab4u (PVT EMPLOYEE)     12 January 2010

why only punishing men ?? when female is staying with the man in his house why he should be punished ??


Hardik Mehta (Family Counsellor)     13 January 2010


This is the grey area or the law as live-in relationship is started building up. The law need to be changed to accomodate these types of relationships, especially when the couple are separated and the divorce proceedings take a long time. Under thiscirumstances, the husband or wife can start liging with another partner without getting married and can have children also. They will not be commited with bigamy, but the adultery will be in question. 

I would suggest that before going for the live in relationship, some form of Civil Partnership should be made where the facts should be clearly mentioed that the persons are having the live-in relationship with their own free will.  If either of the partner moves out without any cause and does not give the divorce, the the other partner have the right to live their own life in their own way. Changng society trends accomodate the live in relationship for such partners.

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