The Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with a trial court order granting interim maintenance to a woman, who claimed to be in a live-in relationship with a married man.
The court observed that “the couple has held themselves out in the society as being akin to spouses which fact is evident from the marriage-cum-agreement deed, affidavits, the school records of the child and the bank statements of the respondent”.
Justice Subramonium Prasad order’s came while dismissing a petition filed by a man challenging a lower court order where the man was directed to pay ad-interim maintenance of Rs.10,000 per month to the woman.
The high court said, “Metropolitan Magistrate vide order dated 26.10.2020, has directed the petitioner to pay a sum of Rs.10,000 per month to the respondent herein as an interim arrangement. The memorandum of grounds does not challenge the figure of Rs 10,000/- awarded by the Metropolitan Magistrate.”
“The principle challenge is that the order could not be passed since the application under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was not maintainable as the respondent is not an aggrieved person,” the court said.
“Since the case is only at an interim stage this Court is not inclined to interfere with the direction of the courts below awarding interim maintenance to the respondent herein towards the maintenance of a child and also towards the rent/accommodation,” the court said.
The respondent woman had divorced her husband.
However, the high court clarified that all these materials have to be examined and said: “It is the contention of the petitioner that he has not entered into any rental agreement and that the agreements, affidavits and the photographs produced by the respondent herein are not genuine.”
“All these facts can be established only after evidence is led. The question as to whether the respondent herein has been duped by the petitioner or whether she was a party to an adulterous and bigamous relationship or not and whether her conduct would not entitle her for any protection under the DV Act can be determined only after the evidence is led,” the court said.
The high court has asked the trial court to hear the matter and decide the matter finally within a period of one year.
The woman has told the court that she took divorce from her former husband and got married to the petitioner on November 21, 2014 and thereafter agreement-cum-marriage deed was entered into between the petitioner and the woman.
The woman informed the court that differences arose between the parties and she moved a trial court seeking an order restraining the petitioner from evicting her from the rented accommodation. The woman also filed an application for grant of interim maintenance.