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Umesh Bhatt (advocate)     02 March 2010


man and woman living together since 10 years but they are not married & they have no child, can we presume as a husband and wife. what is relative law ? 


 5 Replies

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     02 March 2010

Sir, law cannot presume relations. They have to be registered. Well, if they are living together for 10 long years, it is a live in relationship and thus, wife may accrue some rights such as maintenance.

AEJAZ AHMED (Legal Consultant/Lawyer)     02 March 2010

It is observed by Apex Court in different Cases as follows:


Ranganath Parmeshwar Panditrao ... vs Eknath Gajanan Kulkarni And ... on 12 January, 1996




 " In the case in hand, the consistent evidence being that Panditrao and Shevantabai were living together for long years as husband and wife and plaintiff no. 1 is their son and the defendant also admitted the aforesaid fact but contended that there had been no valid marriage between Panditrao and Shevantabai, a legal presumption does arise, though the presumption is rebuttable and this presumption has not been rebutted by the defendant. It has been held by this Court in the case of S.P.S. Balasubramanyam vs. Surutayan, (1994) 1 SCC 460 that if a man and woman live together for long years as husband and wife then a presumption arises in law of legality of marriage existing between the two. But the presumption is rebuttable. The High Court, committed an error of law in recording a finding that the presumption would arise only if the factum of marriage is proved. We are afraid if factum of marriage is proved, the question of raising presumption does not arise."


 In another case as stated in above observation :


S.P.S. Balasubramanyam vs Suruttayan on 13 October, 1993



It is held that:



" What has been settled by this Court is that if a man and woman live together for long years as husband and wife then a resumption arises in law of legality of marriage existing between the two. But the presumption is rebuttable (see Gokal Chand v. Parvin Kumari1). "



Gokal Chand v. Parvin Kumari(AIR 1952 SC 231)



In this case, their Lordships have observed



"continuous cohabitation of a man and a woman as husband and wife and their treatment as such for a number of years may raise the presumption of marriage". It is true that their Lordships have further held "but the presumption which may be drawn from long cohabitation is rebuttable and if there are circumstances which weaken or destroy that presumption, the court cannot ignore them".


Attached File : 37 37 ranganath parmeshwar panditrao 1 vs eknath gajanan kulkarni and on 12 january 1996.pdf downloaded: 68 times
1 Like


I agree to citations illustrated by Sh. Aejaz sahib and quote one of my very dear friend's famous lines;

A.Sources of laws.
1.Laws do not lie in the pages of books.
2.Laws lie in the minds of men.
3.Pages of books are just alibi.

B.Laws in practice.
1.Facts and laws remaining the same interpretation can be anything as their lordships please.
2. Ignore the facts and laws and prevail the opinion and that is the law in the case in hand.

Vikas Dharmendra (Consultant)     03 March 2010

If they are living together and neighbour and friends assumed them as married couple ans they are known in society, then court will assume them as husband and wife. and the pressure to prove that couple is not married is on the petitioner who files suit in the court.

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     03 March 2010

If they are living for many years as husband and wife - and now the husband wants out but does not know how, and the women clings to him , and if while walking on the road , they do not walk together, husband is ill tempered and answers in mono syllables, wife is only looking out for a shopping spree, if thier respectective best friends are always finding themselves in the role of arbitrator in the dispute between the man and women, if the husband is no longer jealous /suspicious and the wife has become paranoid with feelings of jealousy , if the husband has become semi bald and paunchy and wife has long lost her glory------ then it can be presumed that they are a married couple.

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