Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weird judgments - Madras High court judge rules that sexual relations means instant marriage

What kind of judgment is this ? Seems like an incredibly repressive judgment, and one wonders whether there will be any efforts made to overturn this judgment ? What is this judgment ? Well, a judge of the Madras High Court gave a judgment which effectively turned over years and centuries of liberalization, and said that if a man and woman had sexual relations, then in effect this meant that they intended to marry and hence should be treated as married. And if they had a sexual relationship, then this meant that they were married for all practical purposes and could approach the family court and get such a declaration (read more about this judgment):

In a ruling which might have a far reaching impact, Madras High Court has said if a couple in the right legal age indulge in sexual gratification, it will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed as husband and wife. "..if any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations," Justice C S Karnan said in his order. He said that marriage formalities of tying a mangalsutra, garlands and rings were only for the satisfaction of society. Either party could approach a family court for declaration of marital status by producing documentary proof for a sexual relationship.
There are numerous implications of such a judgment. One of the biggest one is that there will be a large number of people who will want to use this judgment to apply for marriage, and there could be a number of such court cases getting filed.
And what happens when somebody has a sexual relationship with more than 1 person, it is considered that the person is at liberty to decide which one of the persons to be deemed to be married to, or is bigamy (with multiple wives or multiple husbands) permissible.
What is the kind of proof that is permissible in the court to prove that a relationship like this happens ? 3D video proof along with semen and DNA proof ? Other than this, there are no clear confirmatory ways that the relationship to be proved in a sexual way.
What gives a judge the right to set their own policies as legal policies ? So far, even the Supreme Court has not gone this far in setting a sexual relationship to be a total life-changing event in the lives of 2 people. So how can a court go this far ? Further, the concept of having a willing and short-term sexual relationship is part of the essential right of an individual, to be governed more by social norms than by a legal context. We are not living in a harsh puritan country and do not need such laws.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 9:23 AM