Divorced wife can claim maintenance despite desertion

The Supreme Court, upholding an order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, granted maintenance to a divorced wife who had deserted her husband. Her husband had obtained divorce on the ground of desertion, and opposed her maintenance petition on the strength of an exception under Sec. 125(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code. This subsection states that a woman is not entitled to maintenance if she refuses to cohabit with her husband without any reasonable cause. Reiterating its earlier position, the Court stated that a divorced wife also falls within the purview of Sec. 125 CrPC, and is thus entitled to maintenance.


Manoj Kumar v. Champa Devi, Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s).10137/2015