Supreme Court of India: ‘No alimony for woman who desert husband’

Supreme Court of India: ‘No alimony for woman who desert husband’

New Delhi, Nov 18

In an observation with far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court has said that a woman who deserted her husband and the matrimonial home and refused to return despite repeated requests was not entitled to maintenance.

Upholding a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a bench headed by Justice V S Sirpurkar said the law of the land did not allow maintenance in cases where the wife deserted her husband, children and the matrimonial home.

In the case before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Poonam, who was married to Mahender Kumar of Jind on January 23, 1992, left her matrimonial home on March 18, 1998, alleging harassment and dowry demands. She also left her children.

Poonam later moved the family court, seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty. But Mahender Kumar filed an application before the court on February 20, 2002, praying for restoration of conjugal rights under the Hindu Marriage Act.

She did not respond to the application, and Kumar was granted ex parte decree as it was construed that Poonam would not return to her matrimonial home.

Fresh appeal

Two years later, Poonam approached the family court again, seeking divorce — on the ground that she was living separately — and demanding maintenance.

Though the court granted her divorce, her appeal for maintenance was turned down.
The Supreme Court bench said: “You left the matrimonial home on your own, and now you want maintenance. Is this the law of the country? What is the justification for your staying separately?”

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No ill-treatment

When the case reached the Supreme Court, Poonam challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision, seeking maintenance of Rs 4,000 per month from Mahender.
The high court judgment said she had failed to prove that she was ill-treated by her former husband.

Additionally, the court observed: “Failure of the petitioner-wife to justify her decision to stay away from the respondent-husband and two kids shows that she had left society of the respondent on her own accord.”

136 thoughts on “Supreme Court of India: ‘No alimony for woman who desert husband’

  1. If wife is goverment servic than all so giving maintanance

  2. hey
    m askin dis fr my frnd
    he gt married in 2010 but dey never lived together e1 aftr marriage.
    jst wntd 2 knw i hve heard dat der is sum tme period fr a marriage to get nullified if d partners r nt stayin 2gthr.
    so wht is dat tme period??
    plz hlp..!!

  3. My son was married in March 2012.within 3 weeks of marriage his wife started quarreling with him and after troubled marital life for 4 months, finally left for her parents’ home and has never returned despite persistent attempts by my son to work out the marriage. she later opted for mutual divorce and now demanding huge sums as alimony. will she be entitled to do so and can she file FIR alleging domestic violence? what are the rights available to my son and we aged parents and whether we all can be prosecuted or have any remedy from getting prosecuted.

  4. By which year this judgement has been taken and which is the case number? where is the copy of the judgement? Without pdf copy this judgement how it can belive anybody? If there is pdf copy of the certified judgement please send to my email address –

  5. Sir, I need your advice and help, I got married in 2002, its been 12 years now, its an arranged marriage , in my family I live with my husband one 11yr old son and mother in law. My mother-in law always been too interfering in my married life, she use to put allegations on me related to house hold chores and complain it to my husband, I simply use to ignore.
    During initial 6yrs, my father in law was alive he was nice to me and 6yrs went taking care of him. After his death, life became miserable, my husband started taking too much care of my mil bcos now she has fat amount of property that my father in law has left, he is so so much with my mil that he started sleeping in her room…I kept quiet for an year bcos of my father in law’s death although, she was not so good with my father in law .Also My husband never use to give me money, I have to tell him my requirements only then he would give that much amount, After that, to stay away from all this, I have taken up the job , but my mil somehow forced me to leave so that I can look after house and do her work…this went on but along with this difference between me and my husband started increasing and now its been nearly 6 years he is not sleeping with me , comes to room sometime for 2-3 days but again goes back, I use to feel sick about this, he never use to talk about any thing to me, he never use to share his talks, we hardly go out together. I walked out of house many times but come back after few months as I still use to love my husband and felt same from his side, but, last year only, as told by his mother he asked me to stay out of house till his mother doesn’t call me back, this was bcos I went to my mom’s house without informing them and he did not let me enter house…and I was sitting in cold with my son outside the house for nearly 3hours…he did not let me in…my parents asked me to call police but I did not bcos of my son, I didn’t want him to see his father been treated by police….I know… that was big mistake…I should have called, may be I stiill didn’t want to end my marriage
    …then my parents quitely took me to their house…my husband contacted my son after 20 days and met me but nothin he talked about coming home I also didn’t want to go…my parents forced me to take some step but I was not ready bcos I still felt my husband is under pressure of my mother in law and as he is not earning well so he is dependent on my mil …I again got a job, now in same school where my son is studying, I was happy at my parents house and life became comfortable, me and my husband use use to meet and chat and he use to take my son with him for 1-2 days, then after 8 months my husband decided to call me back, but I decided to come back on one condition that for no reason I will leave my job and If you don’t want to leave ur mother alone, I will stay with her but I will not take care of her atall…initially he agreed and called us back…after a month she also went for 2months to see her daughter abroad, we were very happy, now after she is back things have again got worsen than before, my husband is whole day at home don’t even go out for work and sitting in her room watching tv with her and its like his and mil’s routine, meals are exactly same, he fights with me and pleases her mom….it has become hell for me now. Ironical part is yet to come, due to some dirty politics at my work place, I was asked to leave the job…I am depressed now and want to run away with my son to another country…plz tell me can I do that…I want take migration visa…I cant survive here..plz help..can he create problems for me.. I dont want to let anybody know about all this and just quietly leave …help me I m in great depression.

  6. Is there any law to punish the wife if she files a false dowry harassment case or domestic violence case against husband and which gets proved to be false?
    Does the court put such women behind bars?

    My wife put a case 125 demand for maintenance i would like to know if do i have to pay any maintenance to that lady who had lived with me only for 40 days after marriage? And left the home, as i have filed for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty from her and her parents? for info she is not working. And also she ve medical problems which I know after marriage

  7. in some cases, same judge convicted women for filling false case (if you are lucky)
    based on many other points you can deny maintenance to wife please visit


  9. It’s good decision by Honorable court. Many more women are misusing the law and taking advantage. .

  10. Pls let me know on my e-mail if possible when this judgement was passed by Supreme Court. Has any other similar judgement been passed by SC after that ?

  11. Nice judgement but on this topic many judgements n also supported provisions of 125cr.pc

  12. Dear sir,

    i have find the judgment on site, but i can’t find judgment of above, can you send me judgment for my mail id.

  13. Sir I got married in 2009. My hus cheated me my family like he finished his B tech nd dng govt job but his qualification s intermediate only no private job also not der. His parents used to support him. He nd his family tour chard me a lot they used for o harness me. So I kept in mahilal police station they came nd gave us 1 lakh nd agreed fr mutual divorce .fr us nd fr his family the lawyer s same so still nw also the case s gng on but nw the lawyer cheated us like after submitting the case to court .The dates he did informed us . So nw the case s gng to dismiss nw wt shuld I do plz kindly help me it’s been too long time

  14. I had married in January 2002 and my wife lived with me till 2004 and then she left me and went abroad for 1 year, but she did not come to India for 4 years. After 4 years she came to India in 2008. Then, I asked her that if you have some relation over there, give me divorce, but she is not giving divorce and she left abroad again and I am living here alone my life is totally disturbed, please guide me what should I do. Thanx

  15. My wife has deserted me . We had a marriage of 2.5 years and during this time she had left my home for quite a number of times and every time I have to go his in laws house and tolerate humiliation and abusive languages and then got my wife back. My wife has made it a habit and now ask me to stay alone without keeping relation to my mother, father, entire family, I am tired of doing the same.
    Still I am trying to solve issue but may she demands for a huge alimony and also says that if I am not ready to pay she will claim interim maintenance and fight a strong case against me.
    Also she threatens me to put behind bars using 498A.
    She is 24 yrs of age and my father in laws knows the law much better than I do as I get a salary of 35k she may she demands 35% of it.
    Now my question is as I am under financial pressure due to a house rent car loan. Can she claim any alimony considering the fact she is qualified, have a chance of remarriage, we have 1 baby girl and also our marriage can’t be considered as a long term one as it is <5yrs.
    Is getting married in this country is something like a trap if u r not married to the right person.
    I know the law has strengthened woman's rights , but do we men have the right to live life ,does our legal system in India give us any right.

  16. One of my office colleague is facing a similar situation and I don’t know how to help her. She had a bad marriage and live separately on her own for last 7 years. She and her husband are not even on talking terms and he has never bothered to call her and has never given her even a single rupee till date.

    However, her husband is too scared to sign on the divorce papers. He fears that court will force him to pay alimony and maintenance if he signs on them. He is not interested to remarry. He says he has no problem if his wife remarries without obtaining a divorce. He says that he cares more for his wife’s happiness than the law and he will not file a case of bigamy against her.

    Her husband does not feel threatened by false cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence filed against him and his family. He says, he does not fear the police and torture. But he simply shivers at the thought of paying money to his estranged wife. He says that he would rather prefer to die than parting with his wealth.

    No amount of assurance that his wife will immediately remarry after divorce and not demand any money can convince him. He says that he does not trust his wife. He says that if he signs on the divorce paper, then his wife may cancel her plans to remarry and that would automatically make her eligible for alimony and maintenance.

    Can you kindly guide how could we arrive at a solution to this problem?

  17. Hi,
    I need your advice on a very serious issue. Its a matter of my friend’s life and death.

    Please let me know how to contact you?

    Thanks in anticipation!!!

  18. Hi All

    I came across a marriage between two hindus which was not registered and ever seven feras were not done. The marriage was solemnized by mere exchange of var-mala and boy applyong sindoor to girl.

    Would this marriage be a valid marriage? Are there are judgments passed on similar grounds? i could not find it online, please h

  19. is there any witness or photos of this marriage then Women can claim; if not its difficult to say its marriage or not. there are judgments without any of such garland or sindoor, if couple stay together court declare it as marriage.

    Indian laws and judges are weird.

  20. Dea Sir,

    I know that My nephu marriage June 2013 after marriage nephu wife nad nephu with stay but after one yera she has gone her parents and charge the dory case file and send me a notice by court some time before i recived the one notice form the the court she demand the maintance charges but she is B.COM AND M.B.A. CAN I REGHIT TO GIVE THE MAINTANCE CHARGES.

  21. Married April 2012
    Son born Jan 2013
    Son got a seizure attack in July 2013
    Since then they have thrown me n my son out of home saying that they don’t want me n my son as they don’t have any money n time for us
    September 2013 he filed divorce HMA 13
    On first hearing, he filed for child custody n I filed interrim maintenance u/s 24
    His case were all lies. Later he filed an application to withdraw petition with a permission to file fresh one. But did not come to court. Case decoded ex party i n my favour
    Then he filed application for case restoration
    Case restored
    But the application of withdrawing petition with permission to file fresh one Dismissed
    Then he willingly withdrew the case

    FIR against him Feb 2014, but challan still not presented, he on bail
    I filed 125, in march 2014, order passed September 2014, review against order filed by both of us. He filed to dismiss maintenance n I filed to hikr, both dismissed

    Order for 125 stands as it is, but he has not paid maintenance
    I filed DV in Aug 2014 but till date they hv not received summons

    Now he (husband) filed divorce u/s 12 in ambala saying my bad character, no saptapadi (phery) in our marriage. It is second marriage of both of us, so it was very simple but everything otherwise was given in marriage n every occassion
    Ground taken fraud by respondent section12 c (he says wen they came foe marriage, respondent,s parents said hmary family me sphere no hoty . So they took respondent home believing the same. In 2014, petitioner inquired n came to know that respondent family me phere ka custom hai . So respondent played fraud.they say in petition that – no saptapadi- no shadi mentioned section 7 (2) HMA so now applied for nullment. Phere huy thay but I have no photographs no proof. All dowry, my original certificates, marriage photos etc in their possession
    Pls help n guide sir

    Married 2009
    Divorce MCD 2010
    Remarried a divorcee girl 2011
    Son born 2012
    Son ill wife went to her family treatment him 2012
    I filed divorce custody2012
    She hma24 during case
    maintenance fixed, I withdrew
    Mediations she say to come back
    We don’t want her to come back

    She files cases 125 498 dv
    Now I files nullment of marriage
    Pls tel chances if win nullment case. And if she wins, wat will then happen

    I not pay 125 maintenance 2 years now warrants issue but I file quashing 125 in high court. High court date before 125 next date
    will I get stay if I don’t tel court abt warrants n will 125 be able to quash
    I have resigned job, put blame of losing job on her as I HV proof, she complained my officer of my 498 case so I said I resigned because harassment

    My claim is that there were no pheres saptpadi ( seven rounds around fire) Our marriage very simple only 15 family members she has photos of only garland, ring manglasutra,sindhoor My claim, we married n cohabilitated because at marriage time, girls family denied this saptpadi ritual in their family, but now just now I came to know this ritual prevails in their marriage, so fraud in ceremonies my advocate assures
    1. Hindu wedding not valid without proof of saptpadi and she has no saptpadi photo.
    2. Section 7(2) HMA
    3 section 12(c) Can I win ‘. If not, wat happen? Plss guide we have a 3 year old son

    wat my adv has written in petition is as under
    The petitioner came to know about this fraud that saptpadi is prevent n compulsory in brides family a few months back otherwise petitioner would not have cohabilitated n married the respondent wife
    Can I pls know is it a technical

  22. The upper one is my ques and the lower one is his (my husband’s claim)

  23. Sir i got married in 2003. It was arrange marige as per hindu marige. My wife had illegal relation with her classmate. After 6 years of marige she with her boyfriend plotted conspiracy to kill me and made an attempt to murder by gun shot. Luckily i could survive. Court has granted ex-party divorce decree in my favour. Further she was found guilty and punished with 10 years imprisonment. Now she is on bail after filing appeal in highcourt and filed a case u/s 125 cr pc. Is she liable to get maintenance alimony from me. She is post graduate in 2 subjects.

  24. Sir i got married in 2014 may ,but till today my wife left home more than 2 times now she left home permanently and now she is asking for mutual diverse and alimony amount ,wt I have to do pls suggest me,I am waiting for reply .thank u

  25. U have mentioned Supreme court has passed a law ‘No alimony for woman who desert husband’ …can u help me with the law no. or section no. which has been passed for these law bcoz I have a DV case going on from 3yrs and i am paying maintenance from last 1 yr to my wife and she left my house I did not ask her to leave the house. So pls help me with the law no. or section no. so i can tell the judge in the court about this

  26. My wife has left me and my home 2 years ago and filed all three cases cases of Dowry demand Us 498A 406 506 323
    , DV case and 3rd. Maintainance case for interim maintainance of 50K Us 125 in district court sirsa (Haryana)

    She is highly educated.
    Though I’m using MP HIGH COURT and Delhi High Court judgements but as I came to know that Haryana is the only state where judges hardly consider other state High Court decision. In haryana it is very much effective if I enclose either Punjab & Haryana High Court or Supreme Court judgments….
    So request you all if anyone of you can help me in this….

  27. My father got divorce with his first wife, as she deserted him, lather my father moved to court and asked her to come back but she didnot replied. Then the civil family court declared the divorce one sided to my father. they were not having any child with her. My father was Central govt employee. then she sent a notice for alimony . as my father belongs to small town and less educated. he started paying the alimony . He reached to an advocate but he mis guided him. after that he continue paying the alimony. 3 yrs back I started looking up in this matter as i got the information regarding cancellation of maintenance. We asked her to show the proves regarding Divorce . as she is a bit phyco ,she is also saying that they were not divorce ever . Now , last month my father died. his pension has my Mother as Nominee.
    Now here i want a guidance regarding further proceedings . As i feel that our Advocate is also misguiding us. My father not left any moveable or immovable property in his name. And the pension account is also transferred in my mothers name.

    1.So is it necessary to show the Succession Certificate in court?
    2. Should we just submit the Death Certificate in court n everything will finish?
    3. Will she still demand anything?
    4.Is this Case will dissolve here?

    Please guide us .

  28. its matter of your Father and you have nothing to do with her;
    as she is divorced ex-parte she has no rights whatsoever after so many years;
    just ignore her; let her do, whatever she wanted. you just dont respond.
    if she is harassing then ask your mother to file case on her

  29. My sister got married last April 21st 2015. After few day inlaws start torture my sister but we agreed all their condition to maintain relationship. Last week his husband left her govt gust house moved to native house and filed case stating that my sister beating him so he can’t stay with her.
    I need valuable decision what should we do in this case.

  30. my wife left 22.04.2002( in this regard a statement written on a non-judicial stamp paper Rs.10/- regarding divorce mutually ) with an adult male person ( sri madhusudhan saha) along with my minor son (born 11-12-1996). in the two school record my son name was put as subhnam saha, father – madhusudhan saha, mother – kanika saha. one of a school’s admission form fill-up by the madhusudhan saha and signed as father/guardian and in admission register signature in the column of father/mother signature signed by wife(kanika paul) as kanika saha. where in this school my son was admitted two years before as subhanam paul, father – gautam kumar paul & mother- kanika paul (in the admission for the signature of guardian / father was signed by my wife (kanika paul as well as in admission registers ).
    this record are in my hand through RTI. i filed a divorce case 30-11-2015 and she submitted a petition u/s 24 H.M.Act and demanding alumany. my query- is she entitled any m aintenan-ce / alumany at this stage ? please reply and help me the actual way to get release from her nest.

  31. Though the it very difficult for a man to get rid off the matrimonial case against him but it is not possible, one should not give up his hope and must try for his best
    Always willing to help the aggrieved person
    Pranesh( Advocate)

  32. Though the it very difficult for a man to get rid off the matrimonial case against him but it is not impossible, one should not give up his hope and must try for his best
    Always willing to help the aggrieved person
    Pranesh( Advocate)

  33. I filed 125 on aug ’13 f me n 2 kids. Granted ekterfa order on june ’15 . my husband did not took tamili police letter dt proves it. I filed 125(3) ,arrest warrant issued.He was brought to court. He got jamanat n lied in high court that i had given wrong address due to which he had no information.
    Now case restored.
    I am depressed after 3 years of wait. Case again reopened, why me n kids been punished. Why liers been given chance.Do we have any law to punish lies.please help.

  34. Hi sir.
    I filed for divorce in the court last 9 months back , as my wife filed false 498a on me after talking with elders on alimony.
    She said that alimony is insufficient and required more.
    Now my query is ,the status for me is showing as ex party evidence.
    Thought it would be one sided, but now she appeared before the court.
    How to take it further.
    Since she did not hired any advocate till now.
    More over one of my advocate said that if she did not object or put any petition then divorce would be granted from judge.
    Can you tell me the suggestion on this.

  35. Hi in asking this for my frnd.he got married and his greedy wife cased a domestic violence case after 1 1/2 month asking for compension of 10 lakh along with one flat for herself…wt to do I had first filed the case but she is going strong ….

  36. I got married in may 201 1 and after 8 day wife father die due to kidney failure. She went to her home and after 1 month she came with me to my home. Within 1 week she told to again want to go to her mother house as she is alone in home. I get agree and left her to her mother’s house. After several calls she didn’t agree to come back to my house and didn’t want to live with me and don’t accept me as a husband. In year 2012 I filed a case for restitution in family court, Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Notice rrigved at her mother’s house and after several dates passed she didnt appear in court and I converted the restitution case into divorce case and several dates passed and after newspaper advertisement the judge passes the ex party order for divorce in favour of me in may 2013. I got married again in jan 2014 and have got 2 kids, one in 30 dec 2014 and second in July 2016.
    In Feb 2017 my first wife’s lawyer ring at my mobile number for divorce through mutual consent.
    Does she eligible for appeal alimony.
    I am confused very much.
    Guide me.
    Waiting for your reply.

  37. My wife staying my own home which my mother gifted me 2012…From 2013 I leave my home for qrualty of my wife..and my only Son staying with me at my Mother’s another property with my Mother.My wife enjoying 11 tenants from my house where she living.Approx 20000/- income she is enjoying.But after that she shoot Sec 125, 498A, DV, 354 no of shoot…I am giving maintaince Rs 5000..I am failed to proof her income from house rent.Because she is not allowing me to enter my own home.No of time I informed local police station.But they did not guide me.She is now involved with local political leaders.That’s why she threading me for not to go my own home pls help..kolkta

  38. I was married in 2015 and she was not consumate, after 6 months she signed in stamp paper and left for her parents home,and she never returned for 1 year ,then she and her parents came to my home and make galata, then we put a case 506,etc ,then we filed divorse in family court, so pls suggest can she file first alleging domestic violence (dowry harassment. So pls suggest

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