Wife can ask maintenance if hubby gets another wife at home: HC

Divorce

A wife cannot be faulted for not living with husband when he brings another woman in the house and she can demand maintenance on this ground, the Bombay HighCourt has ruled in a divorce case.

"Whether or not he (husband) may be entitled under the Personal Law to bring her (second wife), it has no bearing upon the hurt that the wife would feel upon having another wife in the house. In such cases emotional and mental violence is not only apparent, but proved. That itself would entitle any wife to have just cause in not living with her husband and demanding maintenance," ruled Justice Roshan Dalvi.

The judge was hearing a petition last week filed by Irfan Shaikh, challenging the February 6 order of a Family Court in Nasik asking him to pay maintenance of Rs 2,000 each to his wife and child from the date of filing of petition, November

12, 2009.

The High Court noted that though the husband claimed that the wife deserted him and he never deserted her even by remarriage, the wife had sent legal notice to him. It was not claimed by the husband. It was also not replied by him. The legal notice requested reconciliation and cohabitation, which was not done.

"Hence it is seen that the husband's case is false and there has been no attempt at reconciliation or cohabitation or conciliation between the parties. That evidence not

corroborated is, therefore, an important absent factor," Justice Dalvi observed.

"The learned Judge has also rightly considered that the husband deserted the wife in as much as he never paid any maintenance to her and in fact got married to another by which he deserted her," the judge remarked.

Irfan got married to Nilofar on June 3, 2007. They separated on June 17, 2009. The application for maintenance was filed in November 2009. Irfan married again in December 2009.

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