Friday, August 30, 2019

Supreme Court verdict - Even if marriage is null and void, the wife will get maintenance

The Supreme Court has said that even if the marriage is declared null and void due to mischief or wrong act committed by the husband, he will have to pay maintenance under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure despite declaration of nullity of marriage.

The bench of Justice R.Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna upheld Kerala High Court judgment and dismissed a special leave petition against the High Court judgment.

In this case, the woman filed an petition against her husband. The woman said that marriage should be declared null and void because the husband is impotent. On this basis, marriage was declared nullity.

Before the High Court, the husband challenged the order directing him to pay maintenance and argued that the marriage has been declared null and void, the woman is not entitled to get maintenance because she does not fall within the definition of wife under Section 125 of CrPC. The High Court rejected the plea of ​​the husband and said that the marriage was invalid due to wrong act of the husband. In this case, the husband will have to pay maintenance.

Definition of wife under section 125 of CrPC 

"Wife" includes a woman who has been divorced, or has divorced from her husband and has not remarried.

In Supreme Court, husband challenged Kerala High Court verdict and argued that because marriage has been null and void, in such a situation,he cannot be forced to give maintenance. The Supreme Court rejected this argument because the marriage was null and void due to husband's mistake and harm. In such a situation, the husband cannot escape the responsibility of giving maintenance.

Case NameT.K. Surendran VERSUS P. Najima Bindu
Read/Download HC Judgment,Click here