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Giridhar (se)     20 November 2010

Rights of second wife on husbands death

Hi All,

This is regarding second wife's (Miss 'z') property right in the below case.

Mr. 'x' married to Miss  'y' in 1970's as per Hindu customs. They have 2 sons. In the year 1996 Mr. 'x' marries again to Miss 'z'  without taking divorce from 1st marriage & without following basic Hindu customs like having a purohith,  friends or relatives attending the occasion, just tieing the knot that too with wrong postion , no 3rd person is involved in the marriage except the photographer, without any marriage attirie/alankar. etc. There are no childern born out of this second relationship.

Mr. 'x' pretends to Miss 'y' that there is nothing like Miss 'z' and he continues to live with Miss 'y'.

Mr 'x' dies in 2006.

Does Miss 'z' become the legal Widow eglible for Mr 'x's property share along with the first wife?










 8 Replies

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     20 November 2010

The second wife can claim maintenance and also residence order from Mr. X under DV Act if she proves that she has had domestic relationship with him. If she had children she could have claimed property rights too.

1 Like

Giridhar (se)     20 November 2010

Thanks Suchitra. S & 498AVictim foryour response. 

Mr Vijay in this link https://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090225224702AAlEfpj

slightly differs & insists that 2nd wives too are eligible for property share inspite of their marriage getting void. Are there any special cases in which 2nd wife(void marriage) is also entitled for share of her husbands self-earned property  ?





Second wife cannot claim any right property of deceased as per hindu law.  She also cannot claim any right under the D.V.Act.  Only wife  (legal wedded wife).  D.V.Act has been misused.  As per the provision D.V act a  concubine can claim maintenance.    

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     20 November 2010

S.2(f) of DV Act states that :

"domestic relationship" means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family;

So, the Act does not specifically mention it is only concubine who can claim maintenance. Any woman, i.e., even a second wife who has shared domestic relationship with a man can claim maintenance.

1 Like

Giridhar (se)     21 November 2010

Thanks in advance

Can DV act be applicable on a person who is dead(Mr x in this case) ? If yes does law permit to give mainteinenece to the 2nd wife from the self-acquired property of Mr. x?

Sorry for repeating my request. Does anybody know cases where 2nd wife(void marraige ;2nd marriage occured after 1955) got property share as quoted by lawyer Mr. Vijay below in

"In a Hindu Family if the Hindu man dies intestate (i.e. without leaving any testamentary document such as 'Will') then all his widows get one share of the property,each one of them get equal share of the one part, the only condition here is that both marriages in question of the Hindu should be properly solemnized although his second marriage during the first wife living shall be considered Void however the right of the second wife/widow to share the property of her deceased husband with the first wife can not be denied by virtue of section 10 rule 1 of the Hindu Succession Act,1956 " :



Suchitra. S (Advocate)     21 November 2010

Giridhar Sir, Yes. You are right. Sorry for not considering the fact that the husband now is no more in the circumstance of your case.


A wife cannot claim maintenance when the husband is no more under any law for the time being.


But there are case laws where a second wife is eligible for maintenance even when the marriage is not solemnized under proper Hindu customs, but the relation is long lasted one.  It is true that the right of second wife cannot be denied by virtue of s.10 rule 1 of HSA.

1 Like

Giridhar (se)     22 November 2010

Thanks Suchitra Mam for acknowledging the s.10 rule 1 of HSA.

Do you have any reference cases which fall into s.10 rule 1 of HSA? I saw one in the 'succession' forum 

SC: Widow rightful owner of property


But here the article says that 2nd marraiage happenend before 1955 so the 2nd marriage will not get void.




Audry Fernandes (nil)     04 December 2010

What is this "second wife"? I thought that in Hindu law, only one wife is allowed!

This nomenclature of "second wife" is being misused blatantly, even in our courts!

Am I correct?

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