Wife can demand maintenance from husband even after agreeing not to claim it earlier, rules Bombay High Court

In a judgement last week, Justice M S Sonak observed that section 125 of the CrPC, which provides for maintenance to wife, was enacted in public interest

Press Trust of India December 27, 2018 18:57:57 IST
Wife can demand maintenance from husband even after agreeing not to claim it earlier, rules Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Even if a woman agrees to waive her right to claim maintenance from her husband, her right to demand it under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) remains, the Bombay High Court has held.

In a judgement last week, Justice M S Sonak observed that section 125 of the CrPC, which provides for maintenance to wife, was enacted in public interest.

Wife can demand maintenance from husband even after agreeing not to claim it earlier rules Bombay High Court

File image of the Bombay High Court. CNN-News18

The HC was hearing a petition filed by a resident of Sangli in Maharashtra, challenging a lower court's order to pay maintenance to his estranged wife under the CrPC.

As per the petition, the couple filed a joint plea before a Lok Adalat in 2012, seeking that their marriage be dissolved. They also signed a 'consent decree' giving up their right to claim maintenance from each other.

A year later, the wife initiated proceedings under the Hindu Marriage Act and the CrPC, claiming that the husband had obtained her consent for the decree "fraudulently", and demanded a monthly maintenance from him.

After the magistrate and the sessions court upheld the wife's plea, the petitioner moved the HC, arguing that the wife had earlier voluntarily waived her right to maintenance.

Justice Sonak said in the ruling that maintenance under the CrPC is a matter of public policy, and a private consent deed can not be allowed to override a public policy enacted for the larger good.

"Giving effect to an agreement, which overrides the provision of the law...would amount to not only giving recognition to something that is opposed to public policy but it would also amount to the negation of such policy," the HC held.

Consent decrees are nothing but private contracts, and if their terms are opposed to the public policy, then such terms are void, the judge said while dismissing the petition.

Updated Date:

also read

Maharashtra's new airport rules in divergence with MoHFW guidelines, says Centre
India

Maharashtra's new airport rules in divergence with MoHFW guidelines, says Centre

Travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival but five percent of the total flight passengers shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival

Africa-returned man tests positive for COVID-19, samples sent for tests amid Omicron concerns
India

Africa-returned man tests positive for COVID-19, samples sent for tests amid Omicron concerns

The man arrived in Dombivli town of Thane district on 24 November after travelling from South Africa, Dubai and Delhi

Mild third wave of COVID-19 pandemic likely in December, says Maharashtra health minister
India

Mild third wave of COVID-19 pandemic likely in December, says Maharashtra health minister

Speaking about the current COVID-19 scenario, Rajesh Tope said as 80 percent of citizens are vaccinated in Maharashtra, the infection level and the mortality rate is less