Question: A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu rites with W. Is W entitled to maintenance from A if he neglects to maintain W and if W is not in a position to maintain herself?  Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu… Read More »

Question: A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu rites with W. Is W entitled to maintenance from A if he neglects to maintain W and if W is not in a position to maintain herself? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu rites with W. Is W entitled to maintenance from A if he neglects to maintain W and if W is not in a position to maintain herself?] Answer Maintenance general meaning is...

Question: A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu rites with W. Is W entitled to maintenance from A if he neglects to maintain W and if W is not in a position to maintain herself?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, a Hindu married man performs another marriage with Hindu rites with W. Is W entitled to maintenance from A if he neglects to maintain W and if W is not in a position to maintain herself?]

Answer

Maintenance general meaning is keeping something in good condition. Maintenance in legal meaning is money (alimony) that someone must pay regularly to a former wife, husband, or partner, especially when they have had children together. It is the duty of every person to maintain his wife, children, and aged parents, who are not able to live on their own.

Section 125 of CrPC deals with the order of maintenance of wives, children, and parents. According to Section 125, a wife is entitled to get maintenance from her husband. But such a wife must be a legally married wife. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, a second marriage is void if performed during the lifetime of the spouse.

The question of whether the second wife is entitled to maintenance or not is dealt with by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Badshah v. Sou. Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr., (2014) 1 SCC 188. The Court in this case held that the second wife is entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC, under certain circumstances.

The court stated that a woman who is the second wife is also entitled to the right of maintenance under Section 125 when there is sufficient evidence to prove that she was unaware of her husband’s previous wedding and the second wedding was performed in accordance with the personal laws.

Similarly, in the case of Mallika And Anr. v. P. Kulandai, 2000 CriLJ 142, Madras High Court held that in cases where the husband misrepresented his first wife’s death, his second wife would have the right to maintenance.

Hence, in view of the above judgments, it can be said that generally, a Second wife marrying a Hindu male having legally wedded wife, after coming into force of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is void ipso jure under section 5(i) of the Act and is not entitled to claim of maintenance either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under section 125 of the CrPC but if W was unaware of her husband’s first marriage, then she is entitled to maintenance under section 125.


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Updated On 25 Dec 2021 7:12 AM GMT
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