Judgment on Maintenance for the second wife


 

Judgment on Maintenance for the second wife

 

Narinder Pal Kaur Chawla   versus M S Chawla

 Head notes: For details download the PDF file.

 Narinder  Pal  Kaur  and  M  S  Chawla  were  married  according  to  Sikh  rites  and ceremonies in 1977, in Jalandhar. They lived as husband and wife for 14 years in their matrimonial home in Defence Colony, New Delhi. Two daughters were born, in 1981 and 1983. In 1991, Narinder Kaur resumed her studies and decided to finish her BA. In April 1991 she went to Phagwara, Punjab, to take her exams. When she returned, on June 13, 1991, her mother-in-law barred her from the house. Narinder Kaur had been deserted by her husband. At the time of her marriage, Chawla had professed himself a bachelor. In 1991, when she was barred from the matrimonial home, Narinder learnt, for the first time, that Chawla was already married to Amarjeet Kaur when they were married.

 Narinder Kaur filed a criminal case of bigamy against her husband and Chawla was convicted. She filed a petition for maintenance for herself and the children under the Hindu  Adoption  and  Maintenance  Act.  As  courts  take  a  long  time  deciding  petitions, Narinder  filed  for  interim  maintenance.  Illustrative  of  the  extremely  low  quantum  of maintenance granted by the courts, she was granted interim maintenance of Rs 400 per month. In appeal, it was increased to Rs 700 and finally to Rs 1,500 per month by the Supreme Court.

 In 2005, the main petition for grant of maintenance was dismissed by the trial court on grounds that Narinder Kaur Chawla was not M S Chawla's legally wedded "wife" and was therefore not entitled to file under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The trial court held that since Chawla was already married to Amarjeet Kaur, his second marriage to Narinder was void and had no legal validity. Narinder Kaur Chawla filed an appeal in the high court.

 The Delhi High Court observed that the husband Chawla had not disclosed the fact of his first marriage, had married Narinder and had maintained a relationship of husband and wife for 14 long years.

 Thus,The  Delhi  High  Court  judgment  lays  down  that  a second wife duped by her husband through concealment of his first marriage can be treated as a legally wedded "Hindu wife" and is entitled to maintenance under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.

 

 



Attached File : 47 47 smt narinder pal kaur chawla vs shri manjeet singh chawla on 20 september 2007.pdf downloaded 235 times
 
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Advocate

This is very good decision and it shall definitely benefit of similarly vicims 'wives'.

 
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ADVOCATE

Good decision.

 
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