Written by Shaurya Mahajan
Yesterday, the Chhattisgarh High Court in the case of Jaanki Yadav v. Gorakhnath Yada, decided, that the law presumes in favour of marriage and is against concubinage. The judgement was given by a division bench of the court, comprising Justices Goutam Bhaduri and Sanjay Agrawal.
The court took note that the presumption of marriage has to be established by way of conduct, mode of life, and predilections of other persons.
The high court gave the decision while hearing a petition filed by a wife seeking monthly maintenance for herself and her minor daughter from a police officer with whom she had, had an intimate relationship, on the promise of marriage.
Advocate Shakti Raj Sinha appeared for the wife, while the husband was represented by Advocate Ashok Shukla.
The couple allegedly got married in a small ceremony held in the presence of villagers on April 11, 2005. She then went to her matrimonial house, only to discover that her husband was already married and had four children from his recently-deceased first wife.
After she gave birth to a daughter, born out of this union, some rituals were performed after which she was sent back to her parental house with a promise that her husband would be coming to take her back, something that never happened.
She further claimed that these circumstances had resulted in starvation. She had therefore filed proceedings before the family court at Manendragarh, seeking maintenance, but her plea was turned down on November 15, 2011.
Contesting her plea before the High Court, the husband claimed that there was no question of marrying her since he was already married. He further claimed that the child in question was not legitimate.
He contended that there cannot be any presumption of marriage as there were no independent witnesses to show that a marriage was performed. The husband further contended that he and the applicant’s wife had not lived together for a considerable time to make out a case for maintenance.
It was further brought to light that the wife relied upon a document from the hospital and the birth certificate that reflected the husband’s name as her daughter’s father, proving paternity.
Concludingly, the High Court upheld the orders of the family court and directed the husband to give his daughter a legitimate share in his property since he had not challenged paternity.