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“Wife” means a divorced woman who has not remarried under section 125 of Cr.P.C: Rajasthan High Court

While allowing a revision petition filed by a divorced woman asking for maintenance, the Rajasthan High Court held that wife means a woman who has obtained a divorce and not remarried.

In this case, the woman had left her matrimonial house due to cruelty by her husband. The Family court had denied the maintenance and therefore the woman had filed a revision petition in the High Court.

The petitioner contended that the court below did not award the maintenance because the parties had been divorced. However, the divorce had been obtained ex-parte. Further, the explanation in section 125(1) of the Cr.P.C says that:

” “wife” includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.”

On the other hand, the respondents i.e., the husband argued that she had voluntarily deserted her matrimonial home and since she has stopped performing her duties as a wife, she is not entitled to any maintenance. The Hon’ble Court replied to this:

” the learned court below has come out with a judgment without considering the definition of wife provided under Section 125(1) Cr.P.C. 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.”

Therefore, the court allowed the petition and awarded a maintenance of Rs. 10,000 to the wife every month.

case: Richa Dharu vs. Hemant Panwar

https://hcraj.nic.in/cishcraj-jdp/pdfjs-dist/web/viewer.php?file=https://hcraj.nic.in/cishcraj-jdp/storefiles/createordjud/205600012582019_1.pdf

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