Right to Receive Maintenance is Statutory Right, Waiver Aggrement with Wife Would be Considered Void

divorce maintenance husband wife matrimony law insider

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 29, 2022 at 16:38 IST

The Gauhati High Court recently held that, right to receive maintenance from husband under Section 125 of CrPC is a statutory right of a wife and the husband cannot escape from his liability by signing an agreement to the contrary.

“The Statutory right of a wife of a maintenance cannot be bartered, done away with or negatived by the husband by setting up an agreement to the contrary…It has also been held that an agreement by which the wife waived her right to claim maintenance would be a void agreement as against public policy,” Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan held.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by a wife challenging orders of a Trial Court, which on June 26, 2019 denied her maintenance on the ground that she had entered into an agreement with her husband that her expenses would be looked after by her parents, till the time she stayed at her parental house.

The wife alleged that the husband never returned to take her back to the matrimonial house and accordingly, she sought maintenance for herself as she was pursuing her undergraduate studies.

On the other hand, the husband alleged that the wife was leading an adulterous life.

The Trial Court rejected the argument of the husband regarding adultery but still ruled against the wife leading to the present appeal before the High Court.

Going by the provisions of the Act and the pleadings and evidence on record and legal proposition, it can be held that the husband has not been able to prove that he has no sufficient means to discharge his obligation and that he did not neglect or refused to maintain his wife, whereas the wife has been able to prove that there is neglect on his part to maintain his legally married wife,” the Bench said.

“Both the parties are directed to appear before the learned trial Court on June 14, 2022, to receive further order from the court,” the High Court observed so.

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