Why Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code Demands 'Registered' Live-Ins

The Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code states that unmarried couples living together need to register themselves or face six months of jail. The bill also states that children born to live-in couples will get legal recognition.

Tanya Savkoor
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Live In representative, Photo credit: vecteezy, Huseyn Naghiyev

Photo credit: vecteezy, Huseyn Naghiyev

The Uttarakhand Assembly ratified the Uniform Civil Code bill on February 6, applying a common set of laws on marriage, adoption, divorce, inheritance, etc to citizens of all religions. One of the laws that stands out is the requirement for couples in live-in relationships to get themselves registered with district officials. For couples below the age of 21, the new law requires parental consent on the registration documents. There are several clauses for allowing unmarried couples who wish to live together.


The Bill states that live-in relationships will not be registered in cases that are "against public policy and morality", if one partner is married or in another relationship, if one partner is a minor, and if the consent of one partner was obtained by "coercion, fraud, or misrepresentation (concerning identity)". Reportedly, an online platform for couples to register as co-habitants is being set up.

Live-In Couples Have To Register Themselves: Details

According to NDTV, the couples will be verified by a District Registrar, who will conduct a "summary inquiry" to establish the validity of the relationship. If the registration of a couple is rejected, the Registrar will have to provide a letter for the reason. The Bill also details the clauses for allowing people wishing to be in a live-in relationship.

The Uniform Civil Code Bill entails that failure to register a live-in relationship can invite jail time for six months, a fine of Rs 25,000, or both. Even a delay in registration, by as little as a month, would be punishable by three months in jail, a fine of Rs 10,000, or both. In case of providing false information while registering, the perpetrators would be punished for up to three months, a fine of Rs 25,000, or both.

Among other key points in this department, the UCC Bill also mentions the details for children born to live-in couples. The Bill states that children born out of live-in relationships will receive legal recognition; i.e., they "shall be a legitimate child of the couple". According to a senior official, who did not disclose their name to NDTV, said, "The rights of all children born out of wedlock, in live-in relationships, or via incubation, will be the same... no child can be defined as 'illegitimate'".

If a live-in relationship is to be terminated, this would require a written statement in a "prescribed format" which can be subjected to police investigation if the Registrar feels reasons for the relationship ending are "incorrect" or "suspicious", the Bill entails. In such a case of people below 21 years old, the parents or guardians will be informed.


Uttarakhand live in relationships Uniform Civil Code