Helping hand & Samir N : Many thanks for the valuable suggestions.
I am still learning, I have time to decide.
O.P.(FC) No. 3174 of 2012 Kerala Hi Court Judgement dated 5th March 2013 is a recent one similar to the one Samir pointed out. In this case
1) Wife agrees to forgo her right to claim maintenance on condition of Rs.1,50,000/- to her in full and final settlement of all her claims.
2) The husband agreed also to pay Rs.12,000/- as monthly maintenance to the child; agreement made and submitted to the family court along with receipt of 1.5 Lacs.
3) The wife , thereafter, has filed M.C.No.123 of 2012 under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. before the Family Court claiming a monthly maintenance of Rs.75000/-.
4) FC accepts MC 123 and orders husband to pay an interim maintenance of Rs.15,000/- per month to the wife and husband approaches HC.
5) HC refused maintenance not because of the agreement or the payment but because of clause 4 of Sec.125.
Hi Court’s Observations and Judgement :-
“Section 125 of Cr.P.C. is a provision incorporated in the Cr.P.C. by the Parliament enabling certain categories of persons including a wife to claim maintenance. It is a benevolent provision enabling a weaker section of the society to earn their livelihood. An agreement by which a wife waives her right guaranteed under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. will only be an agreement against public policy. An agreement against public policy is void. Therefore, a clause of waiver incorporated in Ext.P4 agreement by which the wife has [O.P.(FC) No.3174/2012] 9 given up her right to claim maintenance from the husband is void and hence, unenforceable.”
One clause in Ext.P4 agreement itself is sufficient for finding that the petitioner and the respondent have decided to live separately by mutual consent with effect from 30.4.2011. Now, the question arises for consideration is whether the respondent is entitled to receive maintenance or interim maintenance from the petitioner after they have been living separately by mutual consent i.e., from 30.4.2011 onwards.
Section 125(4) of Cr.P.C. reads as follows: No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance for the maintenance or the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be, from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery, or if, without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live with her husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent. Going by the above sub-section, no wife is entitled to receive [O.P.(FC) No.3174/2012] 12 maintenance from her husband if they are living separately by mutual consent.