Lady Suffering Cruelty Cannot Be Said to Have Deserted Husband - Rajasthan HC Grants Maintenance To Ex-Wife
The Rajasthan High Court while granting maintenance to the ex-wife has held that a lady suffering cruelty cannot be said to have deserted her husband or resided away voluntarily as the circumstances created by the husband are bound to push away the wife.
In this context, Justice Dr. Pushpendra Singh Bhati observed –
"The maintenance is one thing, which has to be granted and a lady suffering cruelty, cannot be said to have deserted or voluntarily residing away. The circumstances created by the husband, if not conducive, are bound to push away the wife."
In this case, a criminal revision petition was preferred by the Petitioner-Wife assailing the order of the Family Court which denied monthly maintenance to the Petitioner on the ground that divorce was allowed between the parties.
The Counsel for the Petitioner argued before the Court that the Respondent-Husband is working on the post of Branch Manager in Bank of Baroda and has an income of Rs. 90,000 per month.
It was also contended that the divorce was granted ex-parte as claimed by the Respondent-Husband.
Further, the Counsel placed reliance on the proviso to Section 125(1) CrPC, as per which the definition of 'wife' includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried. Therefore, since the Petitioner-Wife has not remarried, she is entitled to maintenance and any divorce petition cannot be construed as it was voluntary desertion of the parties.
The Counsel also argued that since there was established cruelty, therefore the marriage derailed, but that does not absolve the Respondent from the liability of paying maintenance.
While the Counsel for the Respondent-Husband argued that once the wife has failed to discharge the duties as a wife and is no more abiding by the conjugal rights, therefore, the decision arrived at by the Court below is justified.
The High Court noted that the Court below has come out with a judgment without considering the definition of wife provided under Section 125(1) CrPC, thus it was observed –
"The learned court below has gravely erred in denying the maintenance on the ground of divorce and cruelty. The maintenance is one thing, which has to be granted and a lady suffering cruelty, cannot be said to have deserted or voluntarily residing away. The circumstances created by the husband, if not conducive, are bound to push away the wife."
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Revision Petition and set aside and quashed the impugned order of the Family Court. The Court further directed that the Petitioner-Wife is entitled to maintenance to a sum of Rs. 10,000 per month from the Respondent-Husband from the date of filing of the Petition.