No maintenance for wife and child if adultery is proved: HC

Court upholds a sub-section in Criminal Procedure Code, dismisses woman’s plea challenging cancellation of maintenance

January 02, 2020 01:48 am | Updated 01:48 am IST - Mumbai

The Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court recently upheld the law and said when allegations of adultery are proven, a man does not have to pay his former wife and her child maintenance.

Justice Nitin Sambre was hearing a criminal petition filed by an ex-wife in 2016 challenging the cancellation of maintenance of ₹500 to her and ₹400 to her son by her ex-husband.

The couple got married on May 6, 1980, but the man divorced the wife on April 27, 2000, under Section 13 (divorce) of the Hindu Marriage Act on grounds of adultery.

Earlier, the woman was granted ₹150 and her son ₹25 as compensation, which she sought to enhance. Her application was allowed on August 12, 2010, and the magistrate enhanced the compensation to ₹500 and ₹400 for the ex-wife and son respectively. The magistrate also rejected the application filed by the man for cancellation of maintenance under Section 125 (order for maintenance of wives, children and parents) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Thereafter, the man filed a revision application for cancellation of maintenance, which was allowed. It is this application that the ex-wife challenged before the HC.

The advocate appearing for the former husband informed the court that he had initiated divorce proceedings as the allegation of adultery was proved against his former wife. He also said under sub-section 4 of Section 125 of the CrPC, the ex-wife and their son are not entitled to maintenance.

The sub-section reads, “No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery, or if, without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live with her husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent.”

The High Court dismissed the plea.

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