Court Denies Wife’s Maintenance Claim Due to Adulterous Relationship: Karnataka High Court Ruling

The Karnataka High Court recently issued a significant ruling regarding a wife’s eligibility to claim maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act). In a case presided over by Justice Rajendra Badamikar, a woman’s revision petition seeking maintenance was dismissed.

The court’s decision hinged on the wife’s alleged involvement in an extramarital relationship with another individual. According to the court, when a spouse engages in an extramarital affair and resides with the person involved, it disqualifies her from claiming maintenance. The judgment emphasized that to be eligible for maintenance, a claimant must demonstrate honesty.

The court took note of the petitioner’s accusations against her husband, alleging that he had an illicit relationship with another woman. However, these allegations were contested, and the court could not disregard the petitioner’s own extramarital affair.

Previously, the petitioner had filed a petition under the DV Act, seeking protection, residential orders, and financial benefits. A magistrate granted her a protection order along with maintenance, rent, and compensation. Nevertheless, the husband successfully appealed this decision, and their marriage had already been annulled by a family court due to adultery and cruelty.

Upon reviewing the case, the High Court found that the magistrate had failed to consider crucial aspects when awarding maintenance and compensation. In contrast, the sessions judge had rightfully rejected the petitioner’s claim, considering her adulterous conduct. Consequently, the High Court dismissed the revision petition, finding no errors in the sessions judge’s decision.

This ruling underscores the principle that spouses seeking maintenance must demonstrate honesty and adhere to the legal requirements of marriage. In cases involving adultery and extramarital affairs, individuals may not be eligible for maintenance under the DV Act. The judgment establishes an important legal precedent, highlighting the significance of maintaining fidelity and honesty within a marriage to access legal remedies such as maintenance.

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