Gurgaon couples draw up MoU for easy come, easy go
Surprisingly, the eight-point MoU forbids both the parties to file criminal complaint against each other and gives secure passage to either partner without any liability.
‘The trend is gaining momentum in the city since last one year as more and more couples are turning up for such affidavits,’ said Durgesh Bokan, a lawyer at Gurgaon civil court. ‘Young couples are resorting to this MoU to avoid any type of legal glitch in case of relationship going sour, particularly the threat of slapping either rape charge or domestic violence by the female partner and to avoid unwanted pressure of marriage,’ he added. The couples come in droves to the Gurgaon civil court to consult advocates to purchase and draw up the MoUs on Rs 50-stamp papers to ensure neither would pursue criminal procedures in case of separation between the two parties.
Gurgaon, a hub of MNCs and BPO companies where thousands of young boys and girls come in search of jobs, is the perfect site to reflect the new social and legal developments. ‘We work in same office and know each other but want to live together before deciding to marry. We want to have a live-in relationship but will have an agreement to avoid any future problems,’ said Niti Seth, a woman employee at a BPO. ‘Live-in relationship also gives a sense of both freedom and protection in the city since you have a permanent companion without any responsibility,’ she added. ‘The document provides us security from unnecessary harassment by police personnel and also from moral policing by prying locals,’ said Mahesh, her live-in partner. According to notaries in the Gurgaon civil court, 950 such MoUs have been signed since January this year and around 40-50 couples come every month for such affidavits.
As per the MoU, both parties mutually agree on eight points, including the clause that either party cannot file a criminal complaint, law suit or claim petition against the partner. The MoU also says that any party can dissolve their relationship without offering definite explanation or even any prior notice. However, the advocates who facilitate signing of such agreements accept that the document is not permissible in court and is just an agreement till both the partners mutually decide to honour it. ‘In spite of signing the MoU, if any party approaches court against its respective partner, the court could not treat it in similar fashion as it would treat in a case of rape. The decision in such cases could easily come in favour of accused partner,’ argued Bokan.