New Delhi: Despite legal legitimacy, live-in
relationships are largely perceived to be immoral and it is a
fad visible only in urban areas, a Delhi court observed today
while dubbing it as "infamous western cultural product".
In remarks that may stoke a controversy, Additional
Sessions Judge Surinder S Rathi said, "Traditionally speaking,
live-in relationships were alien to our nation till late. Even
today it is fad which is visible only in urban areas."
The judge made the observations while handing down a
7-year jail term and a fine of Rs 7 lakh to a woman hailing
from Mizoram for killing her live-in partner, a Nigerian
national, in north Delhi over three years back.
"Lately, not only the Hon`ble Supreme Court gave a legal
cover to this infamous western cultural product but our
Parliament also accorded some degree of protection by
including live-in relationship under definition of domestic
relationships as defined in section 2 of Protection of Women
from Domestic Violence Act," he noted.
The ASJ also said that "despite all the developments
granting a level of legal legitimacy to live-in relationship,
it is largely perceived to be an immoral relation in our
The case pertains to 28-year-old Zarzoliani stabbing her
live-in partner Victor Okon Efflong, 28, to death in 2008 as
she did not approve his withdrawing money from her bank
Zarzoliani once worked in an orphanage in Manipur and had
moved in with Victor in his rented apartment in north Delhi
near Delhi University.
The court noted that "there is nothing on record to show
if family of the convict had consented to or was even aware of
convict having a live-in relationship with the deceased
Nigerian national Victor."
Zarzoliani was convicted for unintentional killing of
Victor as the court said the act was not premeditated and was
excuted in heat of the moment as it is not known if they had
any regular income and Victor`s act of withdrawing money
from her account was a "spark on mound of explosives".
The ASJ also ordered a departmental enquiry by DCP
Central against the Investigating Officer of the case, Kishan
Lal, for sharing the details of the case with the media during
the trial and getting it published like a story in a crime
magazine with his photograph, which the court called a move
"aimed at self glorification.
The court has called for an action-taken report within
The judge directed that the fine of Rs 7 lakh will be
remitted to the the family of Victor in Nigeria. In case, she
does not pay, she will have to undergo simple imprisonment
for another one year.