Chennai: In a ruling which might have a far reaching impact, the 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 CS 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.
The judge also said once such a declaration is obtained, the couple can establish self as each others` spouse in any government records.
Justice Karnan made these observations in his order yesterday while modifying an April 2006 judgement of a family court in a maintenance case.
A family court in Coimbatore had ordered a man to pay Rs 500 maintenance per month to his two children and Rs 1000 as litigation expenses and had held that the woman`s wedding with him did not have any documentary proof.
In his judgement, Justice Karnan directed the man to pay her maintenance of Rs 500 a month from the date of petition (September 2000) and that the arrears be paid within three months.