Strict proof for marriage not necessary: SC
The husband denied marriage saying he had no children but the wife showed photos of the marriage and the birth certificates of her children though the parents too objected. It is clearly stated by the panchayat office that the father of the children was Mohankumar. Their mother is Kamala.
Mohankumar and Kamala were living as husband and wife but after six years he deserted her and started living with another woman. The first wife Kamala approached the family court for maintenance. The court granted Rs 3000 per month but the Karnataka High Court, on an appeal filed by the husband, set aside the family court judgment and observed that there was no valid marriage to award maintenance to the wife.
The SC allowing the appeal filed by Kamala upheld the family court judgment and observed that there are circumstances to conclude that they were living as husband and wife and the children are born out of the wedlock and the High Court should not have taken a perverse view.
The Supreme court held that the oral and documentary evidences like photographs are enough to hold a marriage and strict proof in maintenance proceedings are not needed.
Strict proof of marriage is not a precondition for awarding maintenance, the court clarified. When the family court had a reasonable conclusion, the High Court should not have substituted its view, the Supreme Court said.