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Friday, October 18, 2013

Whether the second wife married during the life time of first wife can file a maintenance case under sec. 125 Cr.P.C. - yes , if she was kept in dark about first marriage = Badshah ….Petitioner Versus Sou.Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr. …Respondents - judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40886

 Whether the second wife married during the life time of first wife can file a maintenance case under sec. 125 Cr.P.C. - yes , if she was kept in dark about first marriage =

the judgments of  this  Court  in  Adhav  and
      Savitaben cases would apply only in those circumstances where a woman
      married a man with full knowledge of the first  subsisting  marriage.
      In such cases, she should know  that  second  marriage  with  such  a
      person is impermissible and there  is  an  embargo  under  the  Hindu
      Marriage Act  and  therefore  she  has  to  suffer  the  consequences
      thereof.  The said judgment would not apply to those  cases  where  a
      man marriages second time by keeping that  lady  in  dark  about  the
      first surviving marriage.  That is the only way two sets of judgments
      can be reconciled and harmonized.

 Therefore, at least for the purpose  of  claiming  maintenance
      under Section 125, Cr.P.C., such a woman is  to  be  treated  as  the
      legally wedded wife.


 “The brooding presence of the Constitutional  empathy  for
           the  weaker  sections  like  women  and  children  must   inform
           interpretation if it has to have social relevance.   So  viewed,
           it  is  possible  to  be   selective   in   picking   out   that
           interpretation out of two alternatives which advances the  cause
           – the cause of the derelicts.”

      28.   For the aforesaid reasons, we are not inclined to  grant  leave

      and dismiss this petition.

                                                               REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                CRIMINAL MISCELLANEOUS PETITION No.19530/2013

                                     IN

                 SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.8596/2013





      Badshah                                               ….Petitioner

                                   Versus

      Sou.Urmila Badshah Godse & Anr.                       …Respondents




                               J U D G M E N T

      A.K.SIKRI,J.




      1.    There is a delay of 63 days in filing the present Special Leave
      Petition and further delay of 11  days  in  refilling  Special  Leave
      Petition.   For  the  reasons  contained  in  the   application   for
      condonation of delay, the delay in filing and  refilling  of  SLP  is
      condoned.

      2.    The petitioner seeks leave to appeal against the  judgment  and
      order dated 28.2.2013 passed by  the  High  Court  of  Judicature  at
      Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad in Criminal  Writ  Petition  No.144/2012.
   
By means of the impugned order, the High Court has upheld  the  award
      of maintenance to respondent No.1 at the rate of Rs.1000/- per  month
      and to respondent No.2 (daughter) at the rate of Rs.500/-  per  month
      in the application filed by them under Section 125  of  the  Code  of
      Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.)  by the learned Trial Court and affirmed
      by the learned Additional Sessions  Judge.
Respondents  herein  had
      filed  proceedings  under  Section  125,  Cr.P.C.   before   Judicial
      Magistrate First Class (JMFC) alleging therein that  respondent  No.1
      was the wife of the petitioner herein and respondent No.2  was  their
      daughter, who was born out of the wedlock.

      3.    The respondents had stated in the petition that respondent No.1
      was married with Popat Fapale. However, in  the  year  1997  she  got
      divorce from her first husband.
After getting divorce from her  first
      husband in the year 1997 till the year 2005 she resided at the  house
      of her parents.  
On demand of the petitioner for her marriage through
      mediators, she married him on 10.2.2005 at Devgad Temple situated  at
      Hivargav-Pavsa. Her marriage was performed with the petitioner as per
      Hindu Rites  and  customs.   
After  her  marriage,  she  resided  and
      cohabited  with  the  petitioner.   
Initially  for  3   months,   the
      petitioner cohabited and maintained her nicely.   After  about  three
      months of her marriage with petitioner, one lady Shobha came  to  the
      house of the petitioner and claimed  herself  to  be  his  wife.   
On
      inquiring from the petitioner about the said lady Shobha, he  replied
      that if she wanted to cohabit with him, she  should  reside  quietly.
      Otherwise she was free to go back to her parents house.  
When  Shobha
      came to the house of petitioner, respondent No.1 was already pregnant
      from the petitioner.   
Therefore, she tolerated the ill-treatment  of
      the petitioner and stayed alongwith Shobha.  However, the  petitioner
      started giving mental and physical torture to her under the influence
      of liquor.  
The petitioner also  used  to  doubt  that  her  womb  is
      begotten from somebody else and it should be aborted.  However,  when
      the ill-treatment of the petitioner became intolerable, she came back
      to the house of her parents.  
Respondent No.2, Shivanjali,  was  born
      on 28.11.2005. On the aforesaid averments,  the  respondents  claimed
      maintenance for themselves.

      4.    The petitioner contested the petition  by  filing  his  written
      statement.  He dined his relation with respondent Nos.1 and 2 as  his
      wife and daughter respectively.
He alleged  that  he  never  entered
      with any matrimonial alliance with respondent No.1 on  10.2.2005,  as
      claimed by respondent No.1 and in fact respondent No.1,  who  was  in
      the habit of leveling false allegation, was trying to blackmail  him.
      He also denied co-habitation with respondent No.1 and claimed that he
      was not the father of  respondent  No.2  either.
According  to  the
      petitioner, he had married Shobha on 17.2.1979 and from that marriage
      he had two children viz. one daughter aged 20 years and one son  aged
      17 years and Shobha had been  residing  with  him  ever  since  their
      marriage.  
Therefore, respondent No.1 was not and could  not  be  his
      wife during the subsistence of his first marriage and she had filed a
      false petition claiming her relationship with him.

      5.      Evidence was led by both the parties and  after  hearing  the
      arguments the learned JMFC negatived the defence of  the  petitioner.
      In his judgment, the JMFC formulated four points and gave his  answer
      thereto as under:

|1.   |Does applicant no.1 Urmila proves that she is |Yes         |
|     |a wife and applicant No.2 Shivanjali is       |            |
|     |daughter of non applicant?                    |            |
|2.   |Does applicant No.1 Urmila proves that        |Yes         |
|     |non-applicant has deserted and  neglected them|            |
|     |to maintain them through having sufficient    |            |
|     |means?                                        |            |
|3.   |Whether applicant No.1 Urmila and Applicant   |Yes         |
|     |No.2 Shivanjali are entitled to get           |            |
|     |maintenance from  non-applicant?              |            |
|4.   |If yes, at what rate?                         |Rs. 1,000/- |
|     |                                              |p.m. to     |
|     |                                              |Applicant   |
|     |                                              |No. 1 and   |
|     |                                              |Rs. 500/-   |
|     |                                              |p.m. to     |
|     |                                              |Applicant   |
|     |                                              |No. 2.      |





      6.    It is not necessary to discuss the reasons which prevailed with
      the learned JMFC in giving his findings on Point Nos.1 and 2  on  the
      basis of evidence produced before the Court.  We say  so  because  of
      the reason that these findings are upheld by the  learned  Additional
      Sessions Judge in his judgment while dismissing the revision petition
      of the petitioner herein  as  well  as  the  High  Court.  These  are
      concurrent findings of facts with no blemish or perversity.   It  was
      not even argued before us as
the argument raised was that in any case
      respondent No.1 could not be treated as “wife” of the  petitioner  as
      he was already married and therefore petition under  Section  125  of
      the Cr.P.C. at her instance was  not  maintainable.
Since,  we  are
      primarily concerned with this issue, which is the bone of contention,
   
we proceed on the basis that the marriage between the petitioner  and
      respondent No.1 was solemnized; respondent No.1 co-habited  with  the
      petitioner after the said marriage; and respondent No.2  is  begotten
      as out of the said co-habitation,  whose  biological  father  is  the
      petitioner.  
However, it would be pertinent to record that respondent
      No.1 had produced overwhelming evidence, which was  believed  by  the
      learned JMFC that the marriage between  the  parties  took  place  on
      10.2.2005 at Devgad Temple.
This evidence  included  photographs  of
      marriage.
Another finding of fact was arrived at, namely, respondent
      No.1 was a divorcee and divorce had taken place  in  the  year   1997
      between her and her first  husband,  which  fact  was  in  the  clear
      knowledge of the petitioner, who had admitted the same  even  in  his
      cross-examination.

      7.    The learned JMFC proceeded on the basis that the petitioner was
      married to Shobha and was having two children  out  of  the  wedlock.
      However, at the time of  solemnizing  the  marriage  with  respondent
      No.1, the petitioner intentionally suppressed this fact from her  and
      co-habited with respondent No.1 as his wife.

      8.    The aforesaid facts emerging on record would reveal that at the
      time when the petitioner married the respondent No.1, he  had  living
      wife and the said marriage was still  subsisting.
Therefore,  under
      the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act, the petitioner could  not  have
      married second time.
At the same time,  it has also come on  record
      that the petitioner duped respondent No.1 by not revealing  the  fact
      of his first marriage and pretending that he was single.
After  this
      marriage both lived together and respondent No.2 was also  born  from
      this wedlock.
In such circumstances,
whether respondents could filed
      application under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C., is the issue.
We would
      like to pin point that in so far as respondent No.2 is concerned, who
      is proved to be the daughter of the petitioner, in  no  case  he  can
      shun the liability and obligation to pay  maintenance  to  her.  
The
      learned  counsel  ventured  to  dispute  the  legal  obligation   qua
      respondent No.1 only.

      9.    The learned counsel for the petitioner referred to the judgment
      of this Court in Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav vs. Anantrao Shivram  Adhay
      & Anr.[1]
In that case, it was held that a Hindu  lady  who  married
      after coming into force Hindu Marriage Act, with a person who  had  a
      living lawfully wedded wife cannot be treated to be  “legally  wedded
      wife” and consequently her claim for maintenance under  Section  125,
      Cr.P.C. is not maintainable.  
He also referred to later judgments  in
      the case of Savitaben Somabai Bhatiya vs. State of Gujarat &  Ors.[2]
      wherein the aforesaid judgment was  followed.   On  the  strength  of
      these two judgments, the learned counsel argued that  the  expression
      “wife” in Section 125 cannot  be  stretched  beyond  the  legislative
      intent, which means only a  legally  wedded-wife.    He  argued  that
      Section 5(1) (i) of the Hindu Marriage Act,  1955  clearly  prohibits
      2nd marriage during the subsistence  of  the  1st  marriage,  and  so
      respondent No.1 cannot claim any equity; that the explanation  clause
      (b) to Section 125 Cr.P.C. mentions the term “divorce” as a  category
      of claimant, thus showing that only a legally wedded-wife  can  claim
      maintenance.  He, thus,  submitted  that  since  the  petitioner  had
      proved that he was already married to Shobha and  the  said  marriage
      was subsisting on the date of marriage  with  respondent  No.1,  this
      marriage  was void  and respondent No.1 was not legally wedded  wife  and  therefore  had  no
      right to move application under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C.

      10.   Before we deal with the aforesaid submission, we would like  to
      refer two more judgments of this  Court.
 First  case  is  known  as
      Dwarika Prasad Satpathy vs. Bidyut Prava Dixit &  Anr.[3]    In  this
      case it was held:

                       “The validity of the marriage  for  the  purpose  of
           summary proceeding under s.125 Cr.P.C. is to  be  determined  on
           the basis of the evidence brought on record by the parties.  The
           standard of proof of marriage  in  such  proceeding  is  not  as
           strict as is required in a trial of offence under section 494 of
           the IPC. If the claimant in proceedings under s.125 of the  Code
           succeeds in showing that  she  and  the  respondent  have  lived
           together as husband and wife, the court can  presume  that  they
           are legally wedded spouse, and in such a  situation,  the  party
           who denies the marital status can rebut the presumption. Once it
           is admitted that the marriage procedure was followed then it  is
           not necessary to further probe into whether the  said  procedure
           was complete as per the Hindu Rites  in  the  proceedings  under
           S.125,Cr.P.C.  From the evidence which is led if the  Magistrate
           is prima facie satisfied  with  regard  to  the  performance  of
           marriage in  proceedings  under  S.125,  Cr.P.C.  which  are  of
           summary nature strict proof of performance of essential rites is
           not required.

           It is further held:

                       It is to be remembered that the order passed  in  an
           application under section 125 Cr.P.C. does not finally determine
           the rights and obligations of the parties and the  said  section
           is enacted with a view to provide summary remedy  for  providing
           maintenance to a wife, children and parents. For the purpose  of
           getting his rights determined,  the  appellant  has  also  filed
           Civil Suit which is spending before the trial court.  In such  a
           situation, this Court  in  S.Sethurathinam  Pillai  vs.  Barbara
           alias Dolly Sethurathinam,  (1971)  3  SCC  923,  observed  that
           maintenance under section 488, Cr.P.C. 1898 (similar to  Section
           125, Cr.P.C.) cannot be denied where there was some evidence  on
           which conclusion for grant of maintenance could be  reached.  It
           was held that order passed under Section 488 is a summary  order
           which does not finally determine the  rights and obligations  of
           the parties; the decision of the criminal Court that there was a
           valid marriage between the parties will not operate as  decisive
           in any civil proceeding between the parties.”

      11.   No doubt, it is not a case of second marriage  but  deals  with
      standard of proof under Section 125,  Cr.P.C.  by  the  applicant  to
      prove her marriage with the respondent and was not a case  of  second
      marriage.  However, at the same  time,  this  reflects  the  approach
      which is to be adopted while considering  the  cases  of  maintenance
      under Section 125,Cr.P.C. which proceedings  are  in  the  nature  of
      summary proceedings.

      12.   Second case which we would like  to  refer  is  Chanmuniya  vs.
      Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha & Anr.[4]  
The Court  has  held  that
      the term “wife” occurring in Section 125, Cr.P.C. is to be given very
      wide interpretation.  This is so stated in the following manner:

                  “A broad and expansive interpretation should be given  to
      the term “wife” to include even those cases where  a  man  and  woman
      have been living together as husband and  wife  for  reasonably  long
      period of time, and strict proof of marriage should  not  be  a  pre-
      condition for maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. so  as  to
      fulfill the true spirit and essence of the  beneficial  provision  of
      maintenance under Section 125.”




      13.   No doubt, in Chanmuniya (supra), the  Division  Bench  of  this
      Court took the view that the  matter  needs  to  be  considered  with
      respect to Section 125,Cr.P.C., by larger bench and in para 41, three
      questions are formulated for determination by a  larger  bench  which
      are as follows:

           “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  maintenance
                 under Section 125,Cr.P.C.?

           2.    Whether 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.?”

      14.   On this basis, it was pleaded before us  that  this  matter  be
      also tagged along with the aforesaid case.  However, in the facts  of
      the present case, we do not deem it proper to do so as we  find  that
      the view taken by the courts below is perfectly  justified.  
We  are
      dealing with a situation where the marriage between the  parties  has
      been proved.  
However, the petitioner was already  married.   But  he
      duped the respondent by  suppressing  the  factum  of  alleged  first
      marriage.  
On these facts, in our opinion, he cannot be permitted  to
      deny the benefit of maintenance to the respondent,  taking  advantage
      of his own wrong.  Our reasons for this course of action  are  stated
      hereinafter.

      15.   Firstly, in Chanmuniya  case,  
 the  parties  had  been  living
      together for a long time and on  that  basis  question  arose  as  to
      whether there would be a presumption  of  marriage  between  the  two
      because  of  the  said  reason,  thus,   giving  rise  to  claim   of
      maintenance under Section 125,Cr.P.C. by interpreting the term “wife”
      widely.  
The Court has impressed that if  man  and  woman  have  been
      living together for a long time even without a valid marriage, as  in
      that case,   term  of  valid  marriage  entitling  such  a  woman  to
      maintenance should be drawn and a woman in  such  a  case  should  be
      entitled to maintain application under Section  125,Cr.P.C.   
On  the
      other hand, in the present case,  respondent No.1 has  been  able  to
      prove, by  cogent  and  strong  evidence,  that  the  petitioner  and
      respondent No.1 had been married each other.

      16.   Secondly, as already discussed above, 
when the marriage between
      respondent No.1 and petitioner was  solemnized,  the  petitioner  had
      kept the respondent No.1 in dark about her first marriage.   
A  false
      representation was given to respondent No.1 that he  was  single  and
      was competent to enter into martial tie  with  respondent  No.1.  
 In
      such circumstances, can the petitioner be allowed to  take  advantage
      of his own wrong  and turn around to say  that  respondents  are  not
      entitled  to  maintenance  by  filing  the  petition  under   Section
      125,Cr.P.C. as respondent No.1 is not “legally wedded  wife”  of  the
      petitioner?  
Our answer is in the negative.  We are of the view  that
      at least for the purpose of  Section  125  Cr.P.C.,  respondent  No.1
      would be treated as the wife of the petitioner, going by  the  spirit
      of the two judgments we have reproduced above.  
For this  reason,  we
      are of the opinion that the judgments of  this  Court  in  Adhav  and
      Savitaben cases would apply only in those circumstances where a woman
      married a man with full knowledge of the first  subsisting  marriage.
      In such cases, she should know  that  second  marriage  with  such  a
      person is impermissible and there  is  an  embargo  under  the  Hindu
      Marriage Act  and  therefore  she  has  to  suffer  the  consequences
      thereof.  The said judgment would not apply to those  cases  where  a
      man marriages second time by keeping that  lady  in  dark  about  the
      first surviving marriage.  That is the only way two sets of judgments
      can be reconciled and harmonized.

      17.   Thirdly, in such cases, purposive interpretation  needs  to  be
      given to the provisions of Section 125,Cr.P.C.   
While  dealing  with
      the application of destitute wife  or  hapless  children  or  parents
      under this provision, the Court  is  dealing  with  the  marginalized
      sections of the society.  
The purpose is to achieve “social  justice”
      which is the Constitutional vision, enshrined in the Preamble of  the
      Constitution of India.  Preamble to the Constitution of India clearly
      signals that we have chosen the democratic path under rule of law  to
      achieve the goal of securing for all its citizens, justice,  liberty,
      equality and fraternity.  It specifically highlights achieving  their
      social justice. 
Therefore, it becomes the bounden duty of the  Courts
      to  advance  the  cause  of  the   social   justice.   While   giving
      interpretation to a particular provision, the Court  is  supposed  to
      bridge the gap between the law and society.

      18.   Of late, in this very direction,  it  is  emphasized  that  the
      Courts  have  to  adopt  different  approaches  in  “social   justice
      adjudication”, which is also known as “social  context  adjudication”
      as mere “adversarial approach” may not be  very  appropriate.  
There
      are number of social justice legislations giving  special  protection
      and benefits to vulnerable groups in  the  society.    Prof.  Madhava
      Menon describes it eloquently:

                 “It is, therefore,  respectfully  submitted  that  “social
           context judging” is  essentially  the  application  of  equality
           jurisprudence as evolved by Parliament and the Supreme Court  in
           myriad situations presented before courts where unequal  parties
           are pitted in  adversarial  proceedings  and  where  courts  are
           called upon to dispense equal justice. Apart  from  the  social-
           economic inequalities accentuating the disabilities of the  poor
           in an unequal fight, the adversarial process itself operates  to
           the disadvantage of the weaker party.  In such a situation,  the
           judge has to be  not  only  sensitive  to  the  inequalities  of
           parties involved but also  positively  inclined  to  the  weaker
           party if the imbalance were not  to  result  in  miscarriage  of
           justice.  This result is achieved by what we call social context
           judging or social justice adjudication.”[5]

      19.   Provision of maintenance would definitely fall in this category
      which aims at empowering the destitute and achieving  social  justice
      or equality and dignity of the individual.  While dealing with  cases
      under this  provision,  drift  in  the  approach  from  “adversarial”
      litigation to social context adjudication is the need of the hour.

      20.      The  law  regulates  relationships   between   people.    It
      prescribes patterns of behavior.  It reflects the values of  society.
      The role of the Court is to understand the purpose of law in  society
      and to help the law achieve its purpose.  But the law of a society is
      a living organism.  It is based on a given factual and social reality
      that is  constantly  changing.   Sometimes  change  in  law  precedes
      societal change and is even intended to stimulate it.  In most cases,
      however, a change in law is the result of a change in social reality.
       Indeed, when social reality changes, the law must change too.   Just
      as change in social reality is the law  of  life,  responsiveness  to
      change in social reality is the life of the law.  It can be said that
      the history of law is the history of adapting the  law  to  society’s
      changing needs.  In both Constitutional and statutory interpretation,
      the Court is supposed to exercise direction in determining the proper
      relationship between the subjective and objective purpose of the law.



      21.   Cardozo acknowledges in his classic[6]

             “….no system of jus scriptum has been able to escape the  need
           of it”, and he elaborates: “It is true that Codes  and  Statutes
           do not render the Judge superfluous, nor  his  work  perfunctory
           and mechanical.   There  are  gaps  to  be  filled.   There  are
           hardships  and  wrongs  to  be   mitigated   if   not   avoided.
           Interpretation is often spoken of as if it were nothing but  the
           search and the discovery of a meaning  which,  however,  obscure
           and latent, had none the less  a  real  and  ascertainable  pre-
           existence in the legislator’s mind.   The  process  is,  indeed,
           that  at  times,  but  it  is   often   something   more.    The
           ascertainment of  intention  may  be  the  least  of  a  judge’s
           troubles    in    ascribing    meaning    to     a     stature.”



           Says Gray in his lecture[7]

                  “The  fact  is  that  the   difficulties   of   so-called
           interpretation arise when the legislature has had no meaning  at
           all; when the question which is  raised  on  the  statute  never
           occurred to it; when what the judges  have  to  do  is,  not  to
           determine that the legislature did mean on  a  point  which  was
           present to its mind, but to guess what is would have intended on
           a point not present to its mind, if the point had been present.”






      22.   The Court as the interpreter  of  law  is  supposed  to  supply
      omissions, correct uncertainties, and harmonize results with  justice
      through a method of free decision—“libre recherché sceintifique” i.e.
      “free Scientific research”.  We are of the opinion that  there  is  a
      non-rebuttable  presumption  that  the  Legislature  while  making  a
      provision like Section 125 Cr.P.C.,  to  fulfill  its  Constitutional
      duty in good faith, had always intended to give relief to  the  woman
      becoming “wife” under such circumstances.

      23.   This approach is particularly needed while deciding the  issues
      relating to gender justice.  We already have  examples  of  exemplary
      efforts in this regard.  Journey from Shah Bano[8] to Shabana Bano[9]
      guaranteeing maintenance  rights  to  Muslim  women  is  a  classical
      example.

      24.   In Rameshchandra Daga v.  Rameshwari  Daga[10],  the  right  of
      another woman in a similar situation was upheld. Here the  Court  had
      accepted that Hindu marriages have continued to be  bigamous  despite
      the enactment of the Hindu Marriage  Act  in  1955.   
The  Court  had
      commented  that  though  such  marriages  are  illegal  as  per   the
      provisions of the Act, they are not ‘immoral’ and hence a financially
      dependent woman cannot be denied maintenance on this ground.

      25.   Thus, while interpreting a statute the court may not only  take
      into consideration the purpose for which the statute was enacted, but
      also the mischief it seeks to suppress. It  is  this  mischief  rule,
      first propounded in Heydon’s Case[11]  which  became  the  historical
      source of purposive interpretation.  The court would also invoke  the
      legal maxim construction ut res magis valeat  guam  pereat,  in  such
      cases i.e. where alternative constructions  are  possible  the  Court
      must give effect to that which will be  responsible  for  the  smooth
      working of the system for which the statute has been  enacted  rather
      than one which will put a road block in its way.  If  the  choice  is
      between two interpretations, the narrower  of  which  would  fail  to
      achieve the manifest purpose of the legislation  should  be  avoided.
      We should avoid a construction which would reduce the legislation  to
      futility and should accept the bolder construction based on the  view
      that Parliament would legislate only  for  the  purpose  of  bringing
      about an effective result.  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, Cr.P.C., such a woman is  to  be  treated  as  the
      legally wedded wife.

      26.   The principles of Hindu  Personal  Law  have  developed  in  an
      evolutionary way out of concern for all those subject to it so as  to
      make fair provision against destitution.  The manifest purpose is  to
      achieve the social objectives for making bare  minimum  provision  to
      sustain  the  members  of  relatively  smaller  social  groups.   Its
      foundation spring is humanistic.  In its operation field all  though,
      it lays down the permissible categories under its benefaction,  which
      are so entitled either because  of  the  tenets  supported  by  clear
      public policy or because of the  need  to  subserve  the  social  and
      individual morality measured for maintenance.

      27.   In taking the aforesaid view, we are  also  encouraged  by  the
      following observations of this Court in Capt.Ramesh  Chander  Kaushal
      vs. Veena Kaushal [12]:

                 “The brooding presence of the Constitutional  empathy  for
           the  weaker  sections  like  women  and  children  must   inform
           interpretation if it has to have social relevance.   So  viewed,
           it  is  possible  to  be   selective   in   picking   out   that
           interpretation out of two alternatives which advances the  cause
           – the cause of the derelicts.”

      28.   For the aforesaid reasons, we are not inclined to  grant  leave
      and dismiss this petition.

                                                               ..………………………J.
                                                     [Ranjana Prakash Desai]






                                                               …………….………….J.
                                                                 [A.K.Sikri]
      New Delhi,
      October 18, 2013
-----------------------
[1]    (1988) 1 SCC 530
[2]    (2005) 3 SCC 636
[3]    (1999) 7 SCC 675
[4]    (2011) 1 SCC 141
[5]    Delivered a key note address on “Legal Education in Social Context”
[6]    The Nature of Judicial Process
[7]    From the Book “The Nature and Sources of the Law” by John Chipman
Gray
[8]     AIR 1985 SC 945
[9]    AIR 2010 SC 305
[10]   AIR 2005 SC 422
[11]   (1854) 3 Co.Rep.7a,7b
[12]   (1978) 4 SCC 70


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