No maintenance to second wife: Bombay HC

Written by: Teronpi
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Mumbai, May 5: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday, May 5, ruled out maintenance for Hindu woman who weds married man.

Noting that second marriages, when the first wife is alive is null and void in Hindu law, the division bench comprising of Justices A P Deshpande and R P Sondurbaldota said that a second wife cannot claim maintenance under Hindu Marriage Act, or even Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA).

The court's decision came in connection with a petition filed by one Rekha (name changed), who had sought maintenance from her husband under HAMA, alleging that he was married to another woman.

As per HAMA, a woman can stay away from husband and claim maintenance from him if he has another wife who is still alive.

Her laywer contended that Rekha's marriage was legal and it was registered with registrar of marriage.

However, the division bench held that the marriage itself was void and said that she does not enjoy the status of wife under Hindu Marriage Act, therefore she is not eligible to any maintenance under HAMA too.

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