Karnataka High Court: Denied Maintenance claim for Wife in Adultery Case

Karnataka High Court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: October 7, 2023 at 09:22 IST

The Karnataka High Court, under the jurisdiction of Justice Rajendra Badamikar, recently issued a ruling denying maintenance claim to a wife engaged in an extramarital affair. The case revolved around a petition filed by the wife, contesting an order by an Additional Sessions Judge.

The Sessions Judge had overturned a previous decision granting the petitioner maintenance under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, along with compensation.

The petitioner, who had engaged in an extramarital relationship with her neighbor, had sought various protections and benefits under the D.V. Act. She had requested a protection order under Section 18, a residential order under Section 19, as well as monetary support in the form of monthly maintenance of Rs. 3,000 and compensation of Rs. 25,000 under Section 22 of the Act.

Initially, the Magistrate had granted a protection order under Section 18 of the D.V. Act, along with maintenance of Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 1,000 for rent allowance, in addition to Rs. 5,000 as compensation. Dissatisfied with this decision, the husband appealed to the Additional Sessions Judge under Section 29 of the D.V. Act. The Sessions Judge allowed the appeal, overturning the Magistrate’s order and dismissing the petition.

The Karnataka High Court, in its ruling, emphasized that the petitioner’s conduct was marked by an extramarital affair, which was substantiated by both oral and documentary evidence.

The court noted that the petitioner had consistently maintained her relationship with the neighbor while asserting that she was living with her husband. Given her adultery, the court ruled that she could not claim maintenance as a legally wedded wife, as her conduct demonstrated dishonesty and an adulterous lifestyle.

The court also mentioned that the petitioner’s counsel had drawn attention to an admission made by one of the witnesses regarding an illicit relationship. While this aspect was disputed, the court stressed that for a petitioner seeking maintenance, honesty had to be proven. In light of the petitioner’s lack of honesty, she could not accuse her husband.

Consequently, the High Court concluded that the Magistrate had failed to consider these critical factors and had issued a misguided order for maintenance and compensation.

The Sessions Judge, on the other hand, correctly rejected the petitioner’s claims after re-evaluating both oral and documentary evidence in light of her adulterous lifestyle.

In light of these findings, the High Court ultimately dismissed the revision petition, affirming the Sessions Judge’s decision.

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