This appeal has been filed before the Honorable Supreme Court pursuing to the order passed by the Honorable Madras High Court passed on 12/10/2009. The appellant herein states that he was married to a female named Lakshmi. The marriage between the appellant and Lakshmi was solemnized under Hindu Customary Rites on 25/06/1980. The appellant has a son out of wedlock with Lakshmi who is currently studying in an engineering college in Ooty. The petitioner here is working as a Secondary School Teacher in Thevanga Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore. In the year 2001, D. Patchaimmal filed a petition before the Family Court at Coimbatore under section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 alleging that she was already married to the appellant herein on 14/09/1986.
The respondent herein also made a submission that she and the appellant herein lived in her father house for a year or two, but due to some differences, the appellant herein left his father house and moved out to reside in his native place and would come to meet the respondent occasionally. It was submitted in her allegation that she was deserted by her husband completely around 3 years after the marriage, i.e. in the year 1986. The wife in her statement stated that the husband is a school teacher and is drawing a salary of Rs. 10,000/- P.M and she was left helpless at she was not able to maintain herself. The wife in here stated that as a failure to maintain the livelihood and loss of dignity, the husband should agree upon to pay Rs. 500/- per month to her by the husband. The appellant in her statement and additionally in her deposition she mentioned and validated that her husband is the appellant in this case and he got married to the respondent but left her in her father’s house two or three years after the marriage.
1. Is the validity of the subsequent marriage can be proven or can be upheld?
2. Does the respondent should be paid the maintenance as pleaded?
The Honourable Supreme Court after hearing the learned counsels representing both the parties in the matter above and considering the facts and the precedents submitted established by the Honourable Judges to support the prayers and pleadings of the parties in the matter above states its observation herein that: The court acknowledges that any relationship has to have defined version to present and submitted before the court, to consider the relationship in the matter above should be restricted to interpretation mentioned in the Prohibition of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and so under the provision mentioned herein that states that the relationship should not be understood just in the sense of marriage, but there also exist a relationship in marriages. The court states that before involving the application of the law to conclude whether there exists any offence, the basic question that is too answered here is what exactly is the relationship in the nature of marriages. The court expressed it unfortunate fate that there exists no relationship about the term mentioned above and there might be the situation in future that will have such a question that will be needed to be answered so to understand the term the court herein takes an autocratic stand to decide the matter.
The court further explains the states that either the relationship is in the nature of marriage or the relationship exist in the marriage both are entitled to such benefits mentioned under the Act the legislature while enacting the Act though express this but reading the mind of the legislature one can find the Act was meant to cover the complete aspect not to leave any such space merely due to deficiency in expressing such aspect. The court further states that not all relationship that considered will be live are in the nature of marriages. So, it is highly in doubt that such relationship will be accorded the same, and no protection will be granted under the Act of 2005.
For such a relationship to be granted the benefit under Act of 2005, the criteria mentioned by the court need to be satisfied. If any person is kept by a man who he uses and resorts only when he sexually aroused or for such other need and maintains financially, such a relationship will not be granted or will be entitled as marriages. The court in taking view for this matter might exclude a lot of women who are living in a live-in relationship from the benefit under the Act of 2005, but for now, the court will take the responsibility to amend the language as it will they expand the scope of judiciary beyond the authority provided or the court will be no position to amend the law or change the interpretation of the language for the comfort. The taboo act of the sex between a man and a woman was understood in different such sense and will not be applicable in here as the changing the Indian society it is quite evident to understand the new ideology.
The Honorable Supreme Court in its finding mentioned that the Honorable High Court and Honorable Family Court Judge were mistaken in understanding the women Lakshmi as the appellant’s wife, but the court reached to its conclusion without even issuing notice to Lakshmi. This Court redirects the matter to the learned Family Court Judge that it will issue a notice to Lakshmi in fresh finding will be submitted to the court in accordance with the law. The question regarding the marriage with the appellant will only be decided by this court after the fresh findings of the Family Court.
The court also reiterates that there was no finding as to the duration of marriage between respond and appellant which the subject of concern for the court due to deficiency in the finding of the Family Court.
The Honorable Supreme Court set aside the impugned order of the High Court and Family Court and directed the matter back to Family Court and suggested to expedite the proceeding of the matter.