Delhi High Court upholds order of interim maintenance awarded to woman claiming to be in live-in relationship with married man
The Delhi High Court recently upheld an order by the lower Court extending interim maintenance to woman claiming to be in a live-in relationship with a married man (Parveen Tandon vs. Tanika Tandon).
Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the woman presented prima facie evidence of a shared household though the same can be conclusively determined only after leading evidence.But maintenance in interim would be necessary for the welfare of the child and towards accommodation and the same is enabled by Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 (DV Act), the Court said.The parties began their relationship in 2009, while they were both married to their respective spouses. The woman divorced her husband in 2014 and married the petitioner. The petitioner claimed that his wife was on dialysis and would not survive for long, so he began living with the respondent woman.After residing together for six years, in 2020, disputes arose between the parties.She also filed a complaint and sought an order restraining the petitioner from evicting her from the rented accommodation.By another order dated October 26, 2020, Metropolitan Magistrate directed the petitioner to pay an ad-interim maintenance of Rs.10,000 per monthAppeal by the petitioner against the said orders were dismissed by the Additional Sessions Judge leading to the present plea before the High Court.
The petitioner argued that the application filed by the woman was not maintainable since no domestic relationship persisted between the parties as the woman knew that the etitioner was married.The Court also placed reliance on the judgement of the Supreme Court in Indra Sarma v. VKV Sarma which laid down tests to determine whether a relationship would be in the nature of marriage.. It included factors like duration of the period of the relationship, the question as to whether there was a shared household or not, the pooling of the resources and financial arrangements, the domestic arrangements, the socialisation in public, the intention and the conduct of the parties, and emphasised that the same can only be determined by leading evidence.In the instant case, the Court noted that materials in the form of photographs and other documents showing that the petitioner and the respondent have married each other have been produced. As per the school records of the child, the petitioner is shown as the father of the child.Advocates Utkarsh and Anshu Priyanka represented the Petitioner, the Respondent was represented by Advocate Kamal Anand.