Uday Gupta v. Aysha & Anr.
Supreme Court of India, Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction
21 April 2014
Hindu Marriage Act, section 16 (legitimacy of a child born outside of marriage)
Advocate Uday Gupta filed a petition challenging observations made by the Madras High Court that “a valid marriage does not necessarily mean that all the customary rights pertaining to the married couple are to be followed and subsequently solemnised.” He sought these observations to be deleted as untenable in law.
Issue and resolution:
Legitimacy of children of de facto relationships. The Court held that if a man and woman had a live-in relationship for a long period and had children, there would be a presumption of marriage and their children would not be “illegitimate”.
The Court reasoned that the High Court’s remarks could not be construed as precedent for other cases, clarifying that the High Court really meant that there would be a presumption of marriage and legitimate children in relation to couples living together for a long time. The Court noted that many other judgments concur with this viewpoint, and that the Hindu Marriage Act intends to bring about social reforms to confer legitimacy on that group of children.
While it appears that the presumption of legitimacy for children of live-in parents was the general rule, this case provided an important clarification on that point.
Uday Gupta v. Aysha & anr, Special Leave Petition (No. 3390 of 2014); CrL M.P. No. 6817 of 2014
Link to Full Judgment:
This case summary is provided by the Child Rights International Network for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.