Uttarakhand's Uniform Civil Code: Mandatory Registration of Live-In Relationships
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Uttarakhand's Uniform Civil Code: Mandatory Registration of Live-In Relationships

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The topic of live-in relationships has gained significant attention in recent years, with debates surrounding the legal recognition and regulation of such unions. In a pioneering move, the state of Uttarakhand has introduced the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill, which mandates the registration of live-in relationships. This article will delve into the key provisions of the bill, its implications, and the arguments for and against it.


Introduction to the Uttarakhand UCC Bill

The Uttarakhand UCC bill aims to establish consistent laws for personal matters like marriage, divorce, property, and inheritance. It represents a significant step towards creating a uniform legal framework for all citizens, irrespective of their religion. If passed, this bill will be the first legislation of its kind in an Indian state since Independence.

Mandatory Registration of Live-In Relationships

One of the pivotal aspects of the Uttarakhand UCC bill is the requirement for mandatory registration of live-in relationships. According to the bill, couples in live-in relationships must register themselves with the state administration within one month of entering into the relationship. Failure to do so can result in a maximum imprisonment of three months or a fine of up to ₹10,000, or both.

The bill defines a live-in relationship as a cohabitation between a man and a woman in a shared household, akin to marriage, provided that such relations are not prohibited. It aims to provide legal recognition and protection to couples in live-in relationships.

Registration Process and Obligations

Under Section 378 of the bill, parties in a live-in relationship residing in Uttarakhand must submit a statement of their relationship to the registrar within their jurisdiction. Additionally, individuals in live-in relationships outside the state have the option of registering their relationship with the registrar in their respective jurisdictions.

The registrar is responsible for examining the contents of the submitted statement and conducting a summary inquiry. This inquiry includes verifying the marital status of the partners, ensuring the absence of force or coercion, and confirming the partners' consent. The registrar may also summon the partners or other relevant individuals for verification and additional information.

The registrar holds the power to refuse the registration of a live-in relationship, and in such cases, they must provide a written explanation for the refusal. However, if the registrar approves the registration, the statement will be entered into a prescribed register for record-keeping purposes.

Rights and Benefits of Children in Live-In Relationships

One significant provision of the Uttarakhand UCC bill is the recognition of children born out of live-in relationships. According to Section 379, children of such relationships will be considered legitimate and entitled to all the rights and benefits enjoyed by children born to legally wedded parents.

This provision aims to protect the rights of children and ensure their access to education, healthcare, inheritance, and other essential privileges without discrimination based on their parents' marital status.

Maintenance and Legal Remedies

The bill also addresses the issue of maintenance in live-in relationships. If a woman in a live-in relationship is deserted by her partner, she is entitled to claim maintenance from him. She can approach a competent court with jurisdiction over the place where they last cohabited. In such cases, the provisions contained in Chapter 5, Part-1 of the Uttarakhand UCC shall apply mutatis mutandis.

The bill recognizes the vulnerability of women in live-in relationships and provides them with legal recourse to seek financial support in case of abandonment or separation.

Arguments For the Uttarakhand UCC Bill

Proponents of the Uttarakhand UCC bill argue that it brings much-needed clarity and legal protection to couples in live-in relationships. By mandating registration, the bill ensures that the rights and responsibilities of partners are clearly defined, offering them a sense of security and stability. Additionally, the recognition of children born out of such relationships guarantees their rights and entitlements.

Supporters also highlight that the bill promotes gender equality by providing maintenance rights to women in live-in relationships. It addresses the financial vulnerabilities faced by women in such unions and ensures that they have access to necessary financial support.

Arguments Against the Uttarakhand UCC Bill

Critics of the Uttarakhand UCC bill raise concerns about the infringement of personal liberty and privacy. They argue that individuals should have the freedom to choose whether or not to register their live-in relationships, as it is an intimate matter and should not be subject to government oversight.

Opponents also question the need for mandatory registration, asserting that it may dissuade couples from entering into live-in relationships due to the fear of legal obligations and societal scrutiny. They argue that live-in relationships often serve as an alternative to traditional marriage, allowing couples to maintain their independence and privacy.


The introduction of the Uttarakhand UCC bill marks a significant development in the recognition and regulation of live-in relationships in India. By mandating registration and providing legal safeguards, the bill aims to ensure the rights and protection of couples in such unions. However, the debate surrounding the bill raises important questions about personal liberty and privacy. As the bill progresses, it is crucial to consider the diverse perspectives and strike a balance between individual freedom and societal interests.

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