A single act of adultery, a good ground to disentitle a wife from maintenance ?

Justice Alexander Thomas, in a recent order set aside the order of the family court directing that the wife will not be entitled to maintenance for one incident of adultery relying on the principle of section 125 and section 488 of the code of criminal procedure.

In order to disentitle a wife from maintenance it must be proved that the wife was living continuously in adultery. In this case the family court erred in its decision of setting aside maintenance where there was no evidence adduced for proving the incident of adultery .

Justice Thomas placed reliance on Sandha v. Narayanan [1999(1) KLT 688] wherein it was held that in order to constitute the “act of living in adultery” there should be a continuous course of living in the State of quasi-permanent union with the adulterer. One incident is not equivalent to living in continuous course of adultery.

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