Prakhar and Aaradhya have been living together at Gurgaon for 6 years. In January this year, they had a violent fight. Aaradhya was hit hard by Prakhar as a result of which, she sustained injury. After they broke up, Aaradhya sued Prakhar for maintenance, among other things. Decide.
The main issue which is involved in the present case is whether Aaradhya is entitled to get maintenance from Prakhar.
The main aim behind the concept of maintenance to wife is to provide her financial support and social justice by protecting her from destitution and vagrancy. According to Indian law, a wife is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband during the subsistence of marriage or after the dissolution of marriage for her sustenance. Here word “Sustenance” does not mean mere animal existence but it means leading a healthy and respectable life.
According to Hindu laws as well as section- 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, only wife is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband and for becoming husband and wife, it is necessary that both of them must solemnize marriage and perform the ceremonies according to section- 7 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. According to these sections, if both parties do not solemnize marriage then woman cannot claim maintenance under these sections.
But to protect the interest of woman who is a living with the man under domestic relationship without solemnizing a marriage, the legislature has enacted “The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.”
This act recognises the relationship between man and woman which is in the nature of marriage and provides a provision for granting compensation to the woman. According to this act, if an adult male and woman are living together under the same roof without solemnizing a marriage and they relates to each other through the relationship in the nature of marriage then if any violent act has been committed by man against woman such a woman can claim maintenance from that man.
Now the main question arises here is “what is relationship in nature of marriage.” In case of D. Velusamy vs. D. Patchaiammal, [2010 (4) R.C.R. (civil) 827 (SC)], The Supreme Court held that the relationship in the nature of marriage must fulfil the following ingredients:-
- The parties must live together since a long time without solemnizing a marriage.
- They must be of legal age to marry.
- They must treat themselves as husband and wife. Moreover society must treat them as husband and wife.
- They must be qualified to enter into a legal marriage with each other.
If all the above said conditions have been fulfilled by both the parties, then their relationship will be considered as a relationship in the nature of marriage.
In the present case, Prakhar and Aaradhya were living together from last 6 years and due to conflict they both got separated. If Aaradhya proves all the conditions laid down by D. Velusamy vs. D. Patchaiammal case and she also proves that they both were in a domestic relationship then she can claim maintenance under “The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.”