Wife cant claim maintenance from second husband on Survival of Her first Marriage: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Wife cant claim maintenance from second husband on Survival of Her first Marriage: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Recently, the Madhya Pradesh High Court set aside an order of a family court asking the second husband of a woman, whom she had married after quitting her first husband, to pay her a monthly maintenance allowance of Rs 10,000.

While overturning the family court’s decision, the bench of Justice Rajendra Kumar Verma stated that:

It is to be noted that decree of divorce can only be granted by the Court and divorce by such agreement is not valid in the eyes of law. Therefore, it can be reduced that at the time of the alleged marriage, the respondent was already married to other people i.e. Sunil Kumar Gupta and he was alive.

Additionally, a ”wife” under Section 125 Cr.P.C. would include a woman who has been divorced by a husband or who has obtained a divorce from her husband and has not remarried. As discussed above, even if a woman does not have the legal status of a wife, she is brought within the inclusive definition of “wife” in order to maintain consistency with the object of the statutory provision. However, a second wife whose marriage is void on account of the survival of the first marriage would not be a legally wedded wife, and therefore would not be entitled to maintenance under this provision.”

In the said matter, the appellant Bhagwan Das filed a petition before the Court stating that a family court in Singrauli had ordered him to pay Rs 10,000 to his wife under Section 125 of the CrPC. His wife Panpati, whom he married on March 29, 2017, as part of the “Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana” mass marriage programme.

Soon after marriage, on August 11, 2017, the petitioner's wife left him. During the case’s hearing, Petitioner told the court that earlier, Panpati was married to Sushil Kumar Gupta in 2006-07. She divorced him after 5-6 years of marriage due to a marital disagreement, but she did not formally divorce him.

Second marriage is not legal in the absence of divorce, and as such, she is not entitled to maintenance allowance, he argued. The woman in question, on the other hand, told the court that she had left her first husband by mutual consent after their divorce.

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