Law & Legal Studies

Live-in lover law opens door to attacks on freedoms

Live-in lover law opens door to attacks on freedoms

What the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code seems to do is discourage live-in relationships by making it everyone’s business to regulate them.


Arpan Acharya, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


Imagine a knock on the door at midnight, not because you are charged with sedition or tax evasion but because you are in a live-in relationship and haven’t registered it.

This could happen to you in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Under Section 378 of the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code, those who are in a live-in relationship are required to register it with the authorities.

The Code has received the president’s assent and the state government says it will implement it as soon as possible.

Two questions arise: one about the content of the law and one about how it will be enforced.

One of the substantive law questions is that of privacy and the requirement to register a live-in. This is especially relevant after the Puttaswamy opinion of the Supreme Court of India, which held privacy was a constituent of the fundamental right to life and liberty.

Even if it is held that the state has the right to demand this information from citizens, the Code falters when it comes to basic procedural requirements.

Published in: 360info

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