Wife Deserting Husband Entitled To Maintenance After Divorce: SC [Read Order]

Wife Deserting Husband Entitled To Maintenance After Divorce: SC [Read Order]

The apex court upholds HC order to give maintenance with effect from the date of divorce decree.

The Supreme Court, in Manoj Kumar vs Champa Devi, has upheld a Himachal Pradesh High Court order directing a husband to grant maintenance to his deserter wife, whom he had divorced, from the date when the divorce was decreed.

The husband had contended before the high court that he, having obtained a decree of divorce on the basis of desertion, was under no obligation to pay maintenance to the respondent in view of the provisions contained in Section 125 (4) CrPC.

But the high court, referring to Vanamala vs HM Ranganatha Bhatta and Rohtash Singh vs Ramendri and others, observed that a divorced woman continues to enjoy the status of ‘wife’ for claiming maintenance under the provisions of the Code, but since the decree of divorce was passed on the ground of desertion by wife, the respondent would not be entitled for maintenance for any period prior to the passing of the decree under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The husband then approached the apex court assailing this order.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar dismissed the SLP, observing that it finds no reason to interfere in the high court order as it has followed the precedent and the legal position consistently interpreted by the apex court for the last two decades in respect of Section 125 CrPC.

Read the Judgment here.