Supreme Court judgement on illegal marriages

Marrying second time by hiding existence of first wedlock is illegal but the second wife is to be treated as the “legally wedded wife” for the purpose of getting maintenance from her husband under Hindu Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and A K Sikri said that the apex court’s earlier judgement denying maintenance to the second wife would not apply to those cases where a man marriages the second time by keeping the lady in the dark about the first surviving marriage.
“If this interpretation is not accepted, it would amount to giving a premium to the husband for defrauding the wife. Therefore, at least for the purpose of claiming maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC (maintenance), such a woman is to be treated as the legally wedded wife,” the bench said.

 The apex court said that if the law is not interpreted in this way, then it would amount to “giving a premium to the husband for defrauding the wife”.
 
Source:DH
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