What rights do women in India in relationships akin to marriage have?

The India at LSE Blog has featured a guest post by Jayna Kothari on the Madras High Court judgment of Aysha v Ozir Hassan.  This judgment had made headlines for suggesting that couples who have premarital sex can be considered to be married.  In her post,  Jayna argues that contrary to the popular understanding, this judgment strengthens the position of women in relationships akin to marriage.

 

This is an excerpt from the blog:

 

“This ruling is useful to the extent that it gives recognition to the rights and obligations to persons in longstanding intimate relationships. This is significant in the Indian context because there are innumerable cases where marriages are difficult to prove because registration of marriage is not compulsory, or where there is no valid marriage. Women in such relationships are denied rights to maintenance, alimony, custody of children, and protection from violence only because they cannot prove their marital status.”

Cite:

Jayna Kothari, 'What rights do women in India in relationships akin to marriage have?' (17 Jul 2013) <http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/indiaatlse/2013/07/15/what-rights-marriage/#more-1727> accessed on 22 Jul 2019