Adultery as a Ground for Denying Maintenance

Wife is not entitled for maintenance when she is in staying in adultery.


Adultery Case Introduction:

Adultery: In a recent legal case before the High Court of Karnataka in Bengaluru, the court delivered an order that sheds light on a critical issue in family law. The case of Smt. xyz, who had petitioned for maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This case raised questions about the entitlement to maintenance when a spouse is involved in an adulterous relationship. The court’s decision in this matter provides essential insights into the legal principles surrounding this issue.

Background of Adultery Case:

Smt. xyz had filed a petition under the Domestic Violence Act, seeking maintenance and compensation. The Magistrate initially granted her request, but her husband appealed the decision, leading to the Sessions Judge setting aside the Magistrate’s order. The crux of the husband’s argument rested on allegations of adultery and cruelty within the marriage. Importantly, he argued that a competent court had dissolved their marriage on the grounds of these allegations.

The Court’s Ruling:

The High Court conducted a thorough examination of the case, taking into account the evidence presented and the legal aspects involved. Furthermore, the court emphasized that the wife’s alleged extramarital relationship had a significant impact on the matter. Notably, the evidence indicated her involvement with a neighbor named Mahesh, which became a crucial point in the proceedings.

The Divorce Factor:

Crucially, the court noted that the couple had already divorced, and the wife had not contested the divorce. This fact raised substantial questions about the legitimacy of her claim for maintenance, given that she was no longer a legally wedded wife.

Adultery as a Legal Factor:

The heart of the matter revolved around the wife’s involvement in an adulterous relationship. The court made it clear that when a wife is staying in adultery. The question of claiming maintenance does not arise at all. To put it simply, if one of the spouses engages in an extramarital affair, they may consequently forfeit their right to claim financial support from their former partner.

The Court’s Assessment:

The court carefully assessed the situation, focusing on the concrete evidence presented in the case. It highlighted the importance of honesty in such matters. In this case, the court found that the wife’s conduct, as demonstrated by her extramarital affair, indicated a lack of honesty towards her husband. The court maintained that in cases where a spouse is not honest, they cannot make claims against their former partner.

The Legal Process:

The court criticized the Magistrate’s initial order, pointing out that the Magistrate had awarded it mechanically without considering the relevant aspects of the case. In contrast, the Sessions Judge, who had re-evaluated the evidence, commended the Sessions Judge for rightly rejecting the wife’s claim based on her adulterous conduct.

Key Takeaways:

In cases involving adultery within a marriage, the question of claiming maintenance may render itself invalid.

The court stressed the importance of honesty when making claims for financial support in family law matters.

The divorce factor plays a crucial role; if the marriage dissolves, and the divorce is not contested, the legitimacy of a claim for maintenance becomes questionable.

The court highlighted the significance of proper legal processes & the need for a thorough evaluation of evidence in such cases.


The High Court of Karnataka’s order in the case of Smt. xyz underscores the importance of honesty and fidelity within a marriage when it comes to claiming maintenance. The court’s decision, based on a thorough examination of the evidence and adherence to legal principles. This decision offers essential guidance in family law cases involving adultery. It serves as a reminder that the law considers the conduct of parties when determining maintenance claims. Extramarital affairs can affect entitlement to financial support in divorce or separation cases.

2 responses to “Adultery as a Ground for Denying Maintenance”

  1. […] wisely ordered substituted service through paper publication in a newspaper distributed throughout Karnataka. This innovative approach ensured that the respondent had an opportunity to participate in the […]

  2. […] 125 (4) of the Code clearly debars a wife living in adultery from receiving any maintenance from her husband. Considering the expressed embargo on the right of […]

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