LAW RESOURCE INDIA

Can Live in partner claim maintenance under Section 125 Cr P C

Posted in DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MARRIAGE LAWS by NNLRJ INDIA on October 8, 2010

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

A Bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly requested  the Hon’ble Chief Justice to refer the following, amongst other, questions to be decided by a larger Bench.

The questions are:

1. Whether the living together of a man and woman as husband and wife for a considerable period of time would raise the presumption of a valid marriage between them and whether such a presumption would entitle the woman to maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C?

2. Whether strict proof of marriage is essential for a claim of maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. having regard to the provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

3. Whether a marriage performed according to customary rites and ceremonies, without strictly fulfilling the requisites of Section 7(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, or any other personal law would entitle the woman to maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C.?

The Bench said “We are of the opinion that a broad and expansive interpretation should be given to the term ‘wife’ to include even those cases where a man and woman have been living together as husband and wife for a reasonably long period of time, and strict proof of marriage should not be a pre-condition for maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C, so as to fulfil the true spirit and essence of the beneficial provision of maintenance under Section 125. We also believe that such an interpretation would be a just application of the principles enshrined in the Preamble to our Constitution, namely, social justice and upholding the dignity of the individual”.

3 Responses

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  1. Venkatesh P. Dalwai said, on October 9, 2010 at 12:32

    With due respect, certain references are made without referring to already settled postion of law. Especially question 1 and 3. Both questions are answered by SC on more than one occasion where it said long cohabitation between two persons projecting them selfselves as husband and wife leads to presumtion of Husband and wife so also performence of cermonies not stictly in accordence with law but according to their respective customs also proves the marraige consequently rights and laiblities will flow. Dignity of individual is must be it male or female however lack of proff of being wife should deprive the maintenance since person who is liable to pay also carries the tag of having married status without really being one. When some one claims to be wife, necessarily proff shoud follow. To avoid anamolies irrespective of any customary marrige, registration of marraige must be done.The DV act does not define wife, there can not different standerd of proff under different Acts for being wife.There can not be straight jacket formaula to decide these issues. Its ultimately depnds upon the concise of the court to accept or reject the claim. The dangarous trend is if less proff is required to claim for Section 125 then what amounts to less proff is again to be gone into which essntially revolves around question of facts rather than law. Hence courts should restrin from indicating the guidelines in such cases.

  2. penjurivenugopal said, on October 10, 2010 at 09:50

    The courts shall formulate guidelines whenever the new issues arise regarding wife and husband and claim by wife maintenance under section 125. The courts need not go indepth in deciding relationship between wife and husband for grantng maintenance. The registration of marriage is not necessary but cohabitation between two person is enough to decide the claim of wife for grant of maintenance. In recent days, The SC has delivered judgments regarding the related issues.


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