karnataka high court

Karnataka High Court: While considering the instant petition wherein a wife had challenged the order of the Sessions Judge whereby which he had set aside the order of granting maintenance to the petitioner under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 along with compensation; the Bench of Rajendra Badamikar, J.*, dismissed the petition stating that when the wife is staying in adultery, the question of claim of maintenance does not arise at all. The contention that the petitioner is a legally wedded wife and entitled for maintenance cannot be accepted in view of her conduct, who is not honest and is leading adulterous life.

The petitioner had filed the petition under Section 12 of the D.V. Act claiming protection order under Section 18, residential order under Section 19 and monetary benefit under Section 20 in the form of maintenance of Rs.3,000/- per month and compensation of Rs.25,000/- under Section 22. After appreciating the oral and documentary evidence, the Magistrate granted a protection order under Section 18 of the D.V. Act and he also awarded maintenance of Rs.1,500/- to the petitioner with Rs.1,000/- towards rent allowance and also awarded Rs.5,000/- towards compensation.

The afore-stated order was challenged by the husband and the Sessions Judge after re-appreciating the evidence, set aside the order of the Magistrate. The aggrieved wife thus filed the instant revision petition.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the revision petition should be allowed as the petitioner is a legally wedded wife of respondent and it is the duty of husband to maintain his wife. It was asserted that since the husband is having an illicit relationship with his relative, domestic violence is required to be inferred.

Per contra, counsel for the husband argued that the marriage was dissolved by the competent court by granting a decree on the ground of adultery as well as cruelty. He also contended that evidence disclosed that the petitioner had eloped with neighbour and all along, she refused to stay with her husband and showed her interest to stay with her paramour. It was further contended that though petitioner is legally wedded wife, looking to her conduct having illicit relationship, she is not entitled for any maintenance.

Perusing the facts and arguments presented in the matter, the Court noted that it is the specific contention of the respondent husband is that the petitioner has eloped with a neighbour. The Court also noted that the couple are now divorced and same has not been challenged by the wife.

The Court also took note of the oral and documentary evidence and pointed out that it clearly establishes that the petitioner is not honest towards her husband. The Court opined that since the petitioner is claiming maintenance, she must prove that she is honest and when she herself is not honest, she cannot pin-point her fingers towards her husband.

The Court also pointed out that the Magistrate had failed to appreciate the aspects of the case and in a mechanical way, awarded the maintenance and compensation, which is a perverse order. The Sessions Judge on the other hand has re-appreciated the oral and documentary evidence and has rightly rejected the claim of the petitioner in view of the fact that she was leading an adulterous life.

With the afore-stated assessment, the Court dismissed the petition.

[X v. Y, 2023 SCC OnLine Kar 66, decided on 19-09-2023]

*Order by Justice Rajendra Badamikar

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For petitioner- Yadunandan N, Advocate for Gururaj R, Advocate

For respondent- Lokesha P.C, Advocate

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