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Maintenance for Women In Bigamous Marriages

Velusamy v. Patchaiammal, Cr. Appeal Nos. 2028 – 2029, SC, 2010

D.VELUSAMY V. D. PATCHAIAMMAL

Velusamy v. Patchaiammal, Cr. Appeal Nos. 2028 – 2029, SC, 2010

ISSUE:

  • Whether the Appellant married Lakshmi before his marriage with the Respondent?
  • Whether the maintenance under sec.125 CrPC be granted to the respondent?

RULE:

  • When a person is not given a chance to hear then principles of natural justice are violated.

FACTS:

  • The appellant herein has alleged that he was married according to the Hindu Customary Rites with Lakshmi on 25.6.1980. Out of the wedlock with Lakshmi a male child was born, who is now studying in an Engineering college at Ooty.
  • The respondent Patchaiammal filed a petition under Section 125 Cr. P.C (I.e., Order for maintenance of wives, children, and parents). in the year 2001 before the Family Court at Coimbatore in which she alleged that she was married to the appellant herein on 14.9.1986 and since then the appellant herein and she lived together in her father’s house for two or three years.
  • It was alleged in the petition that after two or three years the appellant herein left the house of the respondent’s father and started living in his native place, but would visit the respondent occasionally.
  • It is alleged that the appellant herein (respondent in the petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C.) deserted the respondent herein (petitioner in the proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C.) two or three years after marrying her in 1986.
  • In her petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C., she alleged that she did not have any kind of livelihood and she is unable to maintain herself whereas the respondent (appellant herein) is a Secondary Grade Teacher drawing a salary of Rs.10000/- per month. Hence it was prayed that the respondent (appellant herein) be directed to pay Rs.500/- per month as maintenance to the petitioner.
  • The appellant to prove his marriage with Lakshmi the appellant produced the ration card, voter’s identity card of his wife, transfer certificate of his son, discharge certificate of his wife Lakshmi from the hospital, photographs of the wedding, etc.
  • The learned Family Court Judge held by his judgment dated that the appellant was married to the respondent and not to Lakshmi. These findings have been upheld by the High Court in the impugned judgment. An appeal was filed to Supreme Court.

HELD:

  • The Supreme Court held that the Courts below erred in law in holding that Lakshmi was not married to the appellant (since the notice was not issued to her and she was not heard), it cannot be said at this stage that the respondent herein is the wife of the appellant.
  • Lakshmi was not made a party to the proceedings before the Family Court Judge or before the High Court and no notice was issued to her hence any declaration about her marital status vis-vis the appellant is wholly null and void as it will be violative of the rules of natural justice.
  • A divorced wife is treated as a wife for the purpose of Section 125 Cr.P.C. but if a person has not even been married obviously that person could not be divorced. Hence the respondent cannot claim to be the wife of the appellant herein unless it is established that the appellant was not married to Lakshmi.
Categories
Maintenance for Women In Bigamous Marriages

Chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Kushwaha, Civil Appeal No. 15071, SC, 2010

CHANMUNIYA V. VIRENDRA KUMAR SINGH KHUSHWAHA & ANOTHER

Chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Kushwaha, Civil Appeal No. 15071, SC, 2010

ISSUE:

  • Whether the appellant can claim maintenance from the respondent?

RULE:

  • When lived with a woman for a long time and even though they may not have withstood legal preconditions of a valid marriage, should be made liable to pay the woman maintenance if he desolates her.

FACTS:

  • One Sarju Singh had two sons, Ram Saran and Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha (younger son & the first respondent).
  • The appellant, Chanmuniya, was married to Ram Saran and had 2 daughters-Asha, and Usha. Ram Saran died on 7.03.1992.
  • Thereafter, the appellant contended that she was married to the first respondent as per the customs and usages prevalent in the Kushwaha community in 1996.
  • The custom allegedly was that after the death of the husband, the widow was married to the younger brother of the Ram Saran.
  • The appellant contended that she and the first respondent were living together as husband and wife and had performed all marital obligations towards each other.
  • The appellant further contended that after some time the first respondent started pestering and torturing the appellant, stopped her maintenance, and also refused to discharge his nuptial obligations towards her.
  • The appellant initiated proceedings under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for maintenance and also a suit of restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  • The appellants argued that in those cases where a man, who lived with a woman for a long time and even though they may not have withstood legal preconditions of a valid marriage, should be made liable to pay the woman maintenance if he desolates her.
  • The man should not be allowed to gain from the legal escape clauses by enjoying the advantages of a de facto marriage without undertaking the duties and constraints.
  • The appellant was decreed with the suit in her favor by the Trial court but the findings of the trial court were reversed by the High Court.
  • The appellant reached the apex court by way of a special leave petition against the impugned orders of the High Court.

HELD:

  • The law provides for the hypothesis of marriage. In the instant case, the appellant and the respondent have been living together as man and wife for a sufficient period of time.
  • The people around them must have supposed, from their manner that the parties are husband and wife. The parties must be living or should have lived in one household and behaved in a way that led others to believe that they were husband and wife.
  • The objectives of Section-125 of Cr. P.C is to achieve a social purpose and to avoid vagrancy and destitution.
  • The court held that the questions raised by the petitioner should be referred to a larger bench of the SC and in their view; the interpretation they have given would be a just application of the principles enshrined in the preamble of the constitution.
Categories
Maintenance for Women In Bigamous Marriages

Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr, (2014) 1 SCC 188

BADSHAH V. SOU. URMILA BADSHAH GODSE & ANR

Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr, (2014) 1 SCC 188

ISSUE:

  • Whether the respondent has a right to claim for maintenance in an invalid marriage?

RULE:

  • In some cases for the sake of claiming maintenance under section 125 women can be considered as a wife.

FACTS:

  • The respondent (Urmila Badshah) was married to Popat Fapale and got divorced as well. Then she married the petitioner.
  • On-demand of the petitioner for her marriage through mediators, she married him at Devgad Temple situated at Hivargav-Pavsa. Her marriage was performed with the petitioner as per Hindu Rites and customs. After her marriage, she resided and cohabited with the petitioner.
  • After about three months of her marriage with the petitioner, one lady Shobha came to the house of the petitioner and claimed herself to be his wife.
  • On inquiring from the petitioner about the said lady Shobha, he replied that if she wanted to cohabit with him, she should reside quietly. Otherwise, she was free to go back to her parent’s house.
  • When Shobha came to the house of the petitioner, respondent No.1 was already pregnant from the petitioner. Therefore, she tolerated the ill-treatment of the petitioner and stayed along with Shobha.
  • The petitioner started giving mental and physical torture to her under the influence of liquor. The petitioner also used to doubt that her womb is begotten from somebody else and it should be aborted.
  • When the ill-treatment of the petitioner became intolerable, she came back to the house of her parents. Respondent No.2, Shivanjali, was born, the respondents claimed for maintenance.
  • The petitioner contested the petition by filing his written statement. He dined his relation with respondents Nos.1 and 2 as his wife and daughter respectively.
  • He alleged that he never entered with any matrimonial alliance with respondent No.1 on 10.2.2005, as claimed by respondent No.1 and in fact respondent, No.1, who was in the habit of leveling false allegations, was trying to blackmail him. He also denied co-habitation with respondent No.1 and claimed that he was not the father of respondent No.2 either.
  • The magistrate held that the petitioner is liable for maintenance at the rate of Rs.1000/- per month to respondent No.1 and Rs.500 to respondent No.2.
  • The same was held by the Bombay High Court.
  • The petitioner sought for leave petition.

HELD:

  • The Supreme Court that respondent No.2 is concerned, who is proved to be the daughter of the petitioner, in no case he can shun the liability and he has obligation to pay maintenance to her.
  • The court relying on few cases decided that the respondent is considered as a wife for the purpose of section 125 and she will be entitled to maintenance.
  • The court dismissed the petition.