Q. My marriage was formalized in 2010 and after few days my wife had returned to her house without any reasons. In spite of repeated demands from my side, she was unwilling to come back. I decided to move for divorce but she claimed for rupees five lakhs to agree with the divorce. After continuous efforts, I arranged the amount. But again she demanded for more money to consent for divorce. As I am working in a private company, I don’t have much salary and therefore cannot arrange more money as demanded by my wife. The fact is that she is educated and works in a multinational company with attractive salary. What is the remedy available to me to attain divorce decree?
In this matter, your wife deserted you and does not want to come back from her mother’s house. This clearly amounts to desertion under Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Your wife cannot ask for compensation under the law as she has deserted you herself without any valid reasons.
Under The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 Section 13 Clause 1(i b) which states if “after marriage either of the party to marriage can apply for divorce if one of the party has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition”. Here too your wife has left you since 2010 that will be more than 2 years as per law. The main ground on which your wife will not be entitled to maintenance allowance is that she refuses to live with you without any sufficient reason. Under every marriage the wife is under moral and legal obligation to live with her husband and accomplish marital obligations. Wife cannot refuse to do so. If a divorced wife is unable to maintain herself and not remarried then only she will be entitled to maintenance allowance.
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Under Section 125(4) in the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 your wife is not entitled to receive any allowance as she left you without any sufficient reason and she refuses to live with you and no evidence of ill-treatment by you is mentioned. As per Hindu Marriage Act 1955 “desertion” means the abandonment of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage. It is done without reasonable cause and without the consent of such party/petitioner.You can apply for divorce under these sections.
In one of the case Harjeet Kaur vs Bhupinder Singh on 30/4/2007 Supreme Court upheld the decision and affirmed the decree passed by District Court that the deserting wife cannot claim maintenance as the petitioner (husband) had proved the factum of desertion on the part of the respondent (wife).
See Related FAQs:
- How to obtain divorce on the ground of cruelty and What is the time period after marriage to get divorce ?
- Where to file a Divorce Petition in India?
- How can I divorce my wife if she don’t agree with divorce by mutual consent?
- What is the process involved in getting a divorce from start to finish?
- What to do to get a divorce in India?
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In another case Smt. Archana Gupta & Another Versus Sri Rajeev Gupta & Another, dated 18th November 2009, Supreme Court upheld the decision of Family Court of Dehradun refusing grant of maintenance to wife on the ground that she was earning Rs 2,200 per month and she cannot say she is unable to maintain herself in that amount. Thus her revision petition was dismissed.
by Sushma Javare
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