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Nasir Khan vs Sarphina George on 9 May, 2019

$~13

*INTHEHIGHCOURTOFDELHIATNEWDELHI
%Judgmentdeliveredon:09.05.2019
+CRL.REV.P.587/2015
NASIRKHAN…..Petitioner
versus

SARPHINAGEORGE…..Respondent
Advocateswhoappearedinthiscase:
ForthePetitioner:Mr.S.D.WadhwawithMr.RakeshVats,Advocates.

FortheRespondent:Mr.AbhishekRai,Advocate.

CORAM:-
HON’BLEMRJUSTICESANJEEVSACHDEVA

JUDGMENT

SANJEEVSACHDEVA,J.(ORAL)
CRL.REV.P.587/2015Crl.M.A.13412/2015(stay)

1.Petitionerimpugnsjudgmentdated22.05.2015,whereby,the
PrincipalJudge,FamilyCourthasdisposedofthepetition,filedby
therespondentunderSection125Cr.P.C.anddirectedpetitionerto
[email protected],000/-permonthfromthedateofthefiling
ofthepetitioni.e.01.08.2003.

2.LearnedcounselforthepetitionersubmitsthatTrialCourthas
erredinnotappreciatingthattherespondentwasnotthelegally
weddedwifeofthepetitionerandhasnotbeenabletoestablishthe
factumofmarriage.Hesubmitsthatnoproofofmarriagewas

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page1of10
producednorwerethewitnessestothemarriageproducedbythe
respondenttoprovethefactumofmarriage.

3.Learnedcounselfortherespondent,percontra,contendsthat
therespondenthasestablishedthattheyweremarriedandhasalso
provedbeforetheTrialCourtthattheywerelivingtogetheras
husbandandwifeforoveraperiodof20years.

4.Learnedcounselfortherespondentsubmitsthatthejudgment
oftheTrialCourtisawell-reasonedorderandhasconsideredallthe
documentsandmaterialproducedbytherespondenttoreturna
findingthatthepartiesweremarriedandlivingashusbandandwife.

5.Intheimpugnedjudgment,theTrialCourthasconsideredthe
testimonyoftherespondent,wherein,shehaddeposedthatshegot
marriedtothepetitionerintheyear1983.Shehaddeposedthather
marriagetookplaceatabout10amatKotlaMubarakpuraccordingto
MuslimritesandcustomsandaQaziwasbroughtfromthe
Nizamuddinareabythepetitioner.Sheinhercross-examination
statedthatshecouldnotfiletheNikahnamaandthephotographsof
themarriageasthesamewereinthecustodyofthepetitioner
husband.

6.TheTrialCourthasnoticedthattherespondenthadproduced
severaldocumentstoshowthatshewasmarriedtotherespondent;
andthattheylivedtogetherashusbandandwifeat1731,Kotla
MubarakPur.NewDelhi,since1983toMay2003.Bothofthemwere

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page2of10
enrolledasvotersfromthesaidaddress.Shehadproducedas
Ex.PW1/CandEx.PW1/D,carboncopiesofRecordofEnumeration
i.e.,declarationaboutcorrectnessoftheirparticularsand
acknowledgementofreceiptofElectoralCards.Ex.PW1/E-Election
I-CardofthePetitioner.Recordoftheevictionpetitionfiledbythe
landlordagainsttherespondenttoestablishherresidence.The
evictionpetitionwasfiledagainsttherespondentonthegroundthat
shealongwithherhusband-thepetitionerwasmisusingthepremises.

7.Petitionerinhisexaminationinchiefandcrossexamination
admittedthathewasresidingat1731,KotlaMubarakpur,but,has
deniedthathewasresidingwiththeRespondent.Saidversionwasnot
believedbytheTrialcourtasthebothpartieswereenrolledasvoters
fromthesameaddressi.e.,1731,KotlaMubarakPur,NewDelhi,in
1994atserialNos.369and370andreceivedtheirvotercards.

8.AspertheElectoralRolltheaddressofthepetitionerand
respondentisthesamei.e.1731,KotlaMubarakPur,NewDelhi.
Theyareenrolledasvotersatthesameaddressandthenameofthe
respondentisshownasSarphinaW/oNaseerKhan,R/o1731,Kotla
MubarakpurVillage,NewDelhi.

9.TheTrialCourtfoundseveralcontradictionsintheversionof
thepetitionerandalsonoticedthecontradictorystandbeingtakenby
him.

10.Respondenttoestablishhercasehasalsoplacedonrecord

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page3of10
Ex.PW1/O,areceiptissued,byJaiMataFinanceCompanydated
25.02.2000regardingasumofRs.25.000/-receivedfromNasirKhan
R/o1731,GurudwaraRoad,KotlaMubarakpur,NewDelhi.
RespondenthasalsoplacedonrecordEX.PW1/P,achallandated
14.12.99forpurchaseofoneOnidaTVwhichisinthenameofNasir
Khanandhisaddressismentionedas1731,GurudwaraRoad,KM
Pur,NewDelhi.ItalsobearsthesignaturesNasirKhaninHindi.
Respondentwasnotcrossexaminedinthisregard.Norwerethese
documentsdisputed.

11.TheTrialCourtfurtherreliedontheproceedingsheldbefore
theDelhilegalServicesAuthorityinFileNo.786/02/A,wherein,the
presenceofthepetitionerhusbandhasbeenrecordedandevenan
admissionhasbeenmadebyhimthathewasthehusbandofthe
respondent.Hehadevenmadeastatementthathewouldpayher
monthlymaintenance.

12.Further,theTrialCourtreferredtothemedicalrecordofthe
SafdarjungHospitalwheretherespondentwastakenfortreatmentand
thepetitionerwasshownasthehusbandoftherespondent.
Respondenthadfurtherprovedtheletterforpermissionforsewer
connectionofthepropertywhereshewasresidingapartfromthe
waterbillandalsothegasconnectiondocumentstoshowthatthe
nameofthehusbandismentionedasthatofthepetitionerandthather
nameaftermarriagehasbeenchangedfrom”SarphinaGeorge”to
“SaphinaBegum/SaphinaKhan”.TheTrialCourtalsoreliedonthe

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page4of10
evidencetosubstantiatethattherespondentwasoperatingthebank
accountofthepetitioner.

13.PerusalofthejudgmentoftheTrialCourtandthedocuments,
asreferredtobytheTrialCourt,clearlyestablishthattherespondent
hasbeenabletoprovethatfornearly20yearspartieswereresiding
togetherashusbandandwife.

14.SupremeCourtinKamalaOrsVersusM.RMohanKumar
2018SCCOnLineSC2121heldasunder:

“15.Unlikematrimonialproceedingswherestrictproof
ofmarriageisessential,intheproceedingsunderSection
125Cr.P.C.,suchstrictstandardofproofisnot
necessaryasitissummaryinnaturemeanttoprevent
vagrancy.SectionInDwarikaPrasadSatpathyv.BidyutPrava
Dixit(1999)7SCC675,thisCourtheldthat”the
standardofproofofmarriageinaSection125
proceedingisnotasstrictasisrequiredinatrialforan
offenceunderSection494IPC.ThelearnedJudges
explainedthereasonfortheaforesaidfindingbyholding
thatanorderpassedinanapplicationunderSection125
doesnotreallydeterminetherightsandobligationsof
thepartiesasthesectionisenactedwithaviewto
provideasummaryremedytoneglectedwivestoobtain
maintenance.ThelearnedJudgesheldthatmaintenance
cannotbedeniedwheretherewassomeevidenceon
whichconclusionsoflivingtogethercouldbereached.”
Whenthepartieslivetogetherashusbandandwife,there
isapresumptionthattheyarelegallymarriedcouplefor
claimofmaintenanceofwifeunderSection125Cr.P.C.
Applyingthewell-settledprinciples,inthecaseinhand,
appellantNo.1andtherespondentwerelivingtogether
ashusbandandwifeandalsobegottentwochildren.

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page5of10

AppellantNo.1beingthewifeoftherespondent,sheand
thechildrenappellantsNo.2and3wouldbeentitledto
maintenanceunderSection125Cr.P.C.

16.Itisfairlywellsettledthatthelawpresumesin
favourofmarriageandagainstconcubinagewhenaman
andwomanhavecohabitedcontinuouslyforanumberof
years.Afterreferringtovariousjudgments,in
SectionChanmuniyav.VirendraKumarSinghKushwaha(2011)
1SCC141,thisCourtheldasunder:-

11.Again,inSastryVelaiderAronegaryv.Sembecutty
Vaigalie(1881)6AC364,itwasheldthatwherea
manandwomanareprovedtohavelivedtogether
asmanandwife,thelawwillpresume,unlessthe
contraryisclearlyproved,thattheywereliving
togetherinconsequenceofavalidmarriage,and
notinastateofconcubinage.

12.InIndia,thesameprincipleshavebeenfollowedin
AndrahennedigeDinohamyv.Wijetunge
LiyanapatabendigeBalahamyAIR1927PC185,
inwhichthePrivyCouncillaiddownthegeneral
propositionthatwhereamanandwomanare
provedtohavelivedtogetherasmanandwife,the
lawwillpresume,unless,thecontraryisclearly
proved,thattheywerelivingtogetherin
consequenceofavalidmarriage,andnotinastate
ofconcubinage.

13.SectionInMohabbatAliKhanv.Mohd.IbrahimKhanAIR
1929PC135thePrivyCouncilhaslaiddownthat
thelawpresumesinfavourofmarriageand
againstconcubinagewhenamanandwomanhave
cohabitedcontinuouslyfornumberofyears.

14.InGokalChandv.ParvinKumariAIR1952SC
231,thisCourtheldthatcontinuouscohabitation

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page6of10
ofmanandwomanashusbandandwifemayraise
thepresumptionofmarriage,butthepresumption
whichmaybedrawnfromlongcohabitationis
rebuttableandiftherearecircumstanceswhich
weakenanddestroythatpresumption,theCourt
cannotignorethem.

15.Further,inSectionBadriPrasadv.Directorof
Consolidation(1978)3SCC527,theSupreme
Courtheldthatastrongpresumptionarisesin
favourofwedlockwherethepartnershavelived
togetherforalongspellashusbandandwife.
Althoughthepresumptionisrebuttable,aheavy
burdenliesonhimwhoseekstodeprivethe
relationshipoflegalorigin.16.Again,inSectionTulsav.
Durghatiya(2008)4SCC520,thisCourtheldthat
wherethepartnerslivedtogetherforalongspell
ashusbandandwife,apresumptionwouldarisein
favourofavalidwedlock.”

ThisCourtinChanmuniyacasefurtherheldasunder:-

24.Thus,inthosecaseswhereaman,wholivedwitha
womanforalongtimeandeventhoughtheymay
nothaveundergonelegalnecessitiesofavalid
marriage,shouldbemadeliabletopaythewoman
maintenanceifhedesertsher.Themanshouldnot
beallowedtobenefitfromthelegalloopholesby
enjoyingtheadvantagesofadefactomarriage
withoutundertakingthedutiesandobligations.
Anyotherinterpretationwouldleadthewomanto
vagrancyanddestitution,whichtheprovisionof
maintenanceinSection125ismeanttoprevent.”
[underliningadded]

17.Chanmuniyacasereferredtodivergenceof
judicialopinionontheinterpretationoftheword”wife”
inSection125Cr.P.C.Inparas(28)and(29)of

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page7of10
Chanmuniyacase,thisCourtreferredtootherjudgments
whichstruckadifficultnoteasunder:-
“28.However,strikingadifferentnote,inSectionYamunabai
AnantraoAdhavv.AnantraoShivramAdhav
(1988)1SCC530,atwo-JudgeBenchofthis
Courtheldthatanattempttoexcludealtogether
personallawofthepartiesinproceedingsunder
Section125isimproper(seepara6).Thelearned
Judgesalsoheld(paras4and8)thatthe
expression”wife”inSection125oftheCode
shouldbeinterpretedtomeanonlyalegally
weddedwife.

29.Again,inasubsequentdecisionofthisCourtin
SectionSavitabenSomabhaiBhatiyav.StateofGujarat
(2005)3SCC636,thisCourtheldthathowever
desirableitmaybetotakenoteofplightofan
unfortunatewoman,whounwittinglyentersinto
wedlockwithamarriedman,thereisnoscopeto
includeawomannotlawfullymarriedwithinthe
expressionof”wife”.TheBenchheldthatthis
inadequacyinlawcanbeamendedonlybythe
legislature.Whilecomingtotheaforesaidfinding,
thelearnedJudgesreliedonthedecisionin
Yamunabaicase(1988)1SCC530.”

18.Afterreferringtothedivergenceofjudicial
opinionontheinterpretationoftheword”wife”in
Section125Cr.P.C.,speakingfortheBenchA.K.
GangulyJ.heldthattheBenchisinclinedtotakeabroad
viewofthedefinitionof”wife”,havingregardtothe
socialobjectofSection125Cr.P.C.

19.InChanmuniyacase,thisCourtformulatedthree
questionsandreferredthemattertothelargerBench.
However,afterdiscussingvariousprovisionsSectionofthe
CriminalProcedureCode,thisCourtheldthatabroad

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page8of10
andextensiveinterpretationshouldbegiventotheterm
“wife”underSection125Cr.P.C.andheldasunder:-
“42.Weareoftheopinionthatabroadandexpansive
interpretationshouldbegiventotheterm”wife”
toincludeeventhosecaseswhereamanand
womanhavebeenlivingtogetherashusbandand
wifeforareasonablylongperiodoftime,and
strictproofofmarriageshouldnotbea
preconditionformaintenanceunderSection125
CrPC,soastofulfilthetruespiritandessenceof
thebeneficialprovisionofmaintenanceunder
Section125.Wealsobelievethatsuchan
interpretationwouldbeajustapplicationofthe
principlesenshrinedinthePreambletoour
Constitution,namely,socialjusticeandupholding
thedignityoftheindividual.”

15.AsheldbytheSupremeCourtinKamalaOrsVersusM.R
MohanKumarunlikematrimonialproceedingswherestrictproofof
marriageisessential,intheproceedingsunderSectionsection125Cr.P.C,
suchstrictstandardofproofisnotnecessaryasitissummaryin
naturemeanttopreventvagrancy.Anorderpassedinanapplication
underSectionsection125doesnotreallydeterminetherightsandobligations
ofthepartiesasthesectionisenactedwithaviewtoprovidea
summaryremedytoneglectedwivestoobtainmaintenance.Further
itwasheldthatwhenthepartieslivetogetherashusbandandwife,
thereisapresumptionthattheyarelegallymarriedcoupleforclaim
ofmaintenanceofwifeunderSection125Cr.P.C.

16.Itisfairlywellsettledthatlawpresumesinfavourofmarriage

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page9of10
andagainstconcubinagewhenamanandwomanhavecohabited
continuouslyforanumberofyears.

17.SupremeCourthasfurtherheldthatwhenthefamilycourthas
heldthattherewasavalidmarriage,theHighCourtbeingthe
RevisionalCourthasnopowertoreassesstheevidenceandsubstitute
itsviewsonfindingsoffact.

18.Inthepresentcase,theTrialCourthasextensivelyconsidered
thematerialonrecordandfoundthatthepartieshaveresidedtogether
ashusbandandwifefor20yearsandthereisapresumptionof
marriage.InviewofthesameIfindnoinfirmityintheviewtakenby
theTrialCourtthattherespondenthasbeenabletoestablishthatshe
ismarriedtothePetitioner.

19.Ifindnoerrorintheimpugnedjudgmentandthusfindnomerit
inthepetition.

20.ThePetitionis,accordingly,dismissed.

21.OrderDastiundersignaturesoftheCourtMaster.

SANJEEVSACHDEVA,J
MAY09,2019
st

CRL.REV.P.587/2015Page10of10

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