Mumbai: It's only a proposal and still many steps away from becoming the law, but it has already sparked off a debate.
The Maharashtra Cabinet has proposed to provide live-in relationships a legal standing and give women in live-in relationships the status of 'wife'.
The move comes after Justice Mallimath Committee of the Supreme Court recommended that all states turn this into law.
The Committee observed that if a man and a woman are living together as husband and wife for a reasonably long period, the man shall be deemed to have married the woman.
The state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has cleared the proposal.
The Mallimath Committee had also suggested that the word 'wife' under the Criminal Procedure Code, be amended to include a 'woman living with the man like his wife,' which means the woman would also be entitled to alimony.
Last January, the apex court too held that live-in relationships should be treated equivalent to marriage.