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Madras High Court
Marakkal vs Kandappa Goundan on 24 April, 1883
Equivalent citations: (1883) ILR 6 Mad 371
Author: M Ayyar
Bench: Kernan, M Ayyar

JUDGMENT

Muttusami Ayyar, J.

1. About ten years ago the defendant married the complainant, and for some time they lived together. Then the defendant married a second wife, and the complainant left him and lived in her father’s house for about six years. In March 1882 she applied to a Magistrate for an order of maintenance, but she withdrew her complaint on the defendant offering to maintain her in case she lived with him. She since lived in his house and grain was given her, but she was told to cook her own food separately, and she was not permitted to eat with the defendant or other inmates of the house. They appear to have quarrelled again, and she has applied for an order of maintenance, complaining of ill-treatment. She has a female child aged seven years, and the defendant is a member of a joint Hindu family under the protection of his father, who has seven sons under his control. It is in evidence that the family has sufficient means, and, in answer to the present complaint the defendant denied the charge of ill-treament and offered to maintain the complainant in case she returned to live in his house, adding, however, that he would not live with her as a husband lives with his wife but supply grain for her to cook her own food in his house and eat it separately. In these circumstances, the Deputy Magistrate considered that the complainant was justified in refusing to live with him, and directed him to pay her Rs. 4 a month for her support and that of her child. The Sessions Judge questions the validity of this order on the ground that there was no evidence of adultery or habitual cruelty on the part of the husband. But it seems to us that there was no sufficient offer to maintain within the meaning of the proviso of Section 536 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1872. The wife must, we think, be invited to live with the husband as husband and wife do, and the offer made must be an offer to maintain her as part of his joint family. On this ground we decline to interfere.


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