Indian media: Live-in relations 'not a sin'

India Supreme Court
Image caption The Supreme Court wants more protection for women in live-in relationships

Media are reporting prominently that the Supreme Court has called on parliament to adopt new legislation that would better protect women and children in live-in relationships.

The current law offers protection against domestic violence, as well as maintenance and other benefits to women in a live-in relationship that is "in the nature of marriage".

But according to the Supreme Court, this does not include those who are living with men already in wedlock, says the Hindustan Times.

The judges made the appeal to parliament after they rejected a claim from a woman against her live-in partner on the grounds that she was only a "mistress".

If the man was made to pay maintenance, that would be an injustice to his wife and children, they argued.

The Supreme Court ruled, however, that "live-in or marriage-like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country".

Noting that "children born out of such relationships also suffer the most", the court called for "bringing in remedial measures by parliament through proper legislation".

Most of the papers point out that this is a "landmark judgement".

The Indian Express and The Asian Age highlight the fact that MPs have been urged to "make law to protect women and kids in live-in homes".

"Supreme Court for law on live-in relations," reads the headline in The Deccan Chronicle.

The Times of India, however, is not so sure. "If married man walks out of relation, live-in partner not entitled to relief," it says.

According to the daily, the message from the Supreme Court ruling was "Check the man's marital status before going in for a live-in partnership."

Relations with Pakistan

In international news, India has urged Pakistan to speed up the process of bringing to justice the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Hindustan Times reports.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said Delhi will not allow Islamabad to "wish away" its "deeply felt national sentiment" that those guilty of the crime should be punished.

He was commenting on remarks made by the lawyer of seven Pakistanis accused of involvement in the 26/11 assault on Mumbai who said the evidence provided by India was a "sham".

Nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds injured in the attacks which India blames on the Pakistan-based banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Meanwhile, the government of Andhra Pradesh has banned corporal punishment in all private and government schools in the southern Indian state, the Deccan Herald reports.

The decision comes in the wake of a "steep rise" in such incidents in schools, the paper explains.

It adds that police in the state capital Hyderabad have recorded 600 cases of corporal punishment in 2012 but the number had already surpassed 800 this year.

New innings

Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from cricket this month, will start a new innings as the UN children's agency Unicef's ambassador to promote hygiene and sanitation in South Asia, reports The Hindu.

Unicef's regional director for South Asia, Karin Hulshof, is quoted as saying that Tendulkar has the "unique power to reach all villages and communities" of Asia.

And finally, a male pilot's insistence on wearing earrings has delayed a flight from the southern city of Chennai to Colombo for over an hour, writes the Hindustan Times.

According to national carrier Air India's operational manual, male crew are not permitted to have long hair, long sideburns, an "intimidating" moustache, very long unkempt beards, ponytails or wear earrings and nose rings in uniform, the paper says.

It adds that the plane finally took off, but only after the pilot was allowed to keep his earrings on.

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