38.6c New Delhi, India, Monday, July 15, 2024

Live-In Partner Entitled To Maintenance Under Domestic Violence Act, Says SC [Read Order]

By LawStreet News Network      02 November, 2018 12:00 AM      0 Comments
Live-In Partner Entitled To Maintenance Under Domestic Violence Act, Says SC [Read Order]

The Supreme court on October 30, 2018, in the case of Lalita Toppo v. State of Jharkhand and Anr., observed that the live-in partner is entitled to seek maintenance under the provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

A three-judge Bench consisting of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices U.U. Lalit and K.M. Joseph was considering the questions referred to it by a two-judge Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and Kurian Joseph in the same case earlier on November 24, 2015.

Prior to that, the Jharkhand High Court had held that under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a women cannot claim maintenance from a person with whom she is not legally married.

The apex court in its latest judgement observed that though the appellant is not a legally wedded wife and thus cannot claim maintenance u/s 125 Cr.P.C., she can seek maintenance under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. “Economic abuse also constitutes domestic violence,” the court observed.

The appellant, in this case, was in a live-in relationship out of which she also had a child. The couple then fell apart and the appellant sought maintenance from her partner which the Family Court at Gumla allowed, awarding Rs. 2000 p.m. towards her and Rs. 1000 towards the child.

Aggrieved by this order, her partner approached the High Court of Jharkhand which held the family court’s verdict to be erroneous.

The appellant then approached the apex court assailing the correctness of HC’s order.

A two-judge bench of the top court, taking into account three of its earlier cases viz. Chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha and Anr., Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v. Anantrao Shiv Ram Adhav and Anr. and Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya v. State of Gujarat and Ors. formulated three questions and referred them to a larger bench.

The three questions were:

  1. Whether the living together of a man and woman as husband and wife for a considerable period of time would raise the presumption of a valid marriage between them and whether such a presumption would entitle the woman to seek maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C?
  2. Whether a strict proof of marriage is essential for a claim of maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. having regard to the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?
  3. Whether a marriage performed according to the customary rites and ceremonies without strictly fulfilling the requisites of Section 7(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, or any other personal law would entitle the woman to maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C.?


A three-judge bench though declined to answer the questions saying that in its view the questions do not require any answer and directed the appellant to approach the appropriate forum under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Share this article:

User Avatar

Leave a feedback about this


Trending Crime, Police And Law
Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: SC issues notice to 4 convicts on appeal by Delhi police

SC issues notice to 4 convicts in Soumya Vishwanathan murder case on Delhi police's appeal against their bail. Convicts had served over 14 years.

09 July, 2024 09:49 AM
Trending Judiciary
Why Indian High Courts still have old names despite change in city name ? [Watch Video]

Know the reasons why Indian High Courts, like Bombay HC, Madras HC, and Calcutta HC, Allahabad HC still retain their old names despite the cities’ name changes. LawStreet Journal delves into the historical and legal context. Watch report !

09 July, 2024 09:56 AM
Trending International
What is Keir Starmer’s stance on Kashmir issue ? [Watch Video]

Under Keir Starmer, the UK's Labour Party shifts its stance on Article 370, focusing on strategic ties with India, moving from past criticisms to cooperation.

09 July, 2024 10:04 AM
Trending Judiciary
ED moves SC against Jharkhand HC order of bail to CM Hemant Soren

ED moves SC against Jharkhand HC's bail order for CM Hemant Soren in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

09 July, 2024 12:14 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email