'Unmarried' woman can claim alimony: Court
Woman files case against man attempting second marriage, although they had not registered theirs; man to pay monthly alimony of `5, 000
Posted On Monday, September 30, 2013 at 09:09:43 AM
A court of judicial magistrate (first class) on Friday allowed alimony to a woman, despite the lack of evidence proving that the couple was actually married.
Jenny (name changed), a 27-year-old commerce graduate, moved court when her 30-year-old mechanical engineer husband Gopal (name changed) sought a second marriage, taking advantage of an unregistered first marriage. Judge R K Raje-Bhosle ordered that a monthly alimony of Rs 5,000 be paid to her by Gopal.
The alimony was allowed after relying on evidences which proved that the couple stayed in a home like 'husband and wife', including the testimony of a doctor, who said Jenny had delivered a baby boy at a hospital in 2007, as well as of the owner of the house where the couple lived.
Gopal hails from a Hindu family and Jenny from a Christian family. The duo worked for the same company in 2005. However, their respective families were against the prospect of their marriage. During the trial, it
was submitted that the couple had tied the knot at a Yerwada temple in 2006 and due to the absence of documents — having never visited their native places — they did not register their marriage.
As per the petition filed by Jenny through advocates R P Kesharkar and Pratibha Gawali in 2008, Gopal had started harassing Jenny after some disputes. Following this, Gopal left their home for Ahmednagar never to return, in spite of Jenny trying to convince him otherwise.
The latter, in January this year, came to know that Gopal, with the consent of his parents, was engaged to another girl and about to marry her. Jenny then filed a case of cheating against Gopal at a local police station. However, Gopal took a stand that he did not marry Jenny and there was no evidence for the same.
Jenny subsequently filed a case under Section 23 (2) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. She demanded monthly alimony, claiming that they did get married and stayed like 'husband and wife'. However, Gopal took a similar stance, adding that he was not the father of the child.
Advocate Gawali said, "During the trial, it was revealed that Jenny has no source of income — since she had quit her job post-marriage. In support of our claim, we produced two witnesses — their house-owner and a doctor from the hospital where the child was delivered. Taking both witnesses into account, the court concluded that Jenny was liable to get protection under the Domestic Violence Act."
Gawali also said that the court also considered the fact that Jenny had suffered mentally and emotionally due to Gopal having disowned the child. "She is staying separately due to domestic violence. It has been proven that they had a marital relationship and thus Gopal should bear the responsibility of maintaining her now," Gawali added.
She suffered mentally and emotionally since he disowned their child. They had a marital relationship, hence he must bear her responsibility now - Adv Pratibha Gawali Jenny's Lawyer
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