A presumption would arise in favor of valid wedlock if partners living together for a long spell as husband and wife
Bench: G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly, JJ.
The Appellant Chanmuniya married Ram Saran and gave birth to 2 daughters out of the wedlock. Ram Saran died after her second daughter was born. It was a customary belief of ‘Katha and Sindhur’ that after the death of the husband the widow has to marry the younger brother of the husband. The Appellant married the Respondent as per the customs and rituals prevalent in the Kushwaha community. The Appellant initiated proceedings against the Respondent under Section 125 of the CrPC. For maintenance and restitution of conjugal rights under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act , after she was harassed and tortured by the Respondent and he also ignored marital obligations towards Appellant.
The Hon’ble Court in this present case held, that a broad and expansive interpretation should be given to the term 'wife' to include even those cases where a man and woman have been living together as husband and wife for a reasonably long period of time, and strict proof of marriage should not be a precondition for maintenance under Section 125 of the CrPC. to fulfill the meaning of
the beneficial provision of maintenance under Section 125.Therefore, women in live-in relationships are also entitled to all the reliefs given in the said Act.