Right to Maintenance of second wife in India

As indicated by the marriage laws in India, a man can't remarry while the primary marriage is in subsistence. In such cases, the second marriage shrunk by a man is not lawful and does not hold any legitimacy in law. But rather, despite the fact that the laws in India don't give in this way, the act of second marriage is extremely regular in India however in such cases second wives don't have much rights in law. 

The Hindu Marriage Act gives that a man can remarry just when neither of them has a life partner living at the season of their marriage. 

Old laws 

Under the old laws i.e before the initiation of the HMA, a lady was not permitted to remarry until and unless her traditions allow her. Be that as it may, there was no such law for the men. Gradually, Hindu law was made Monogamous with different states bringing against plural marriage laws. 

Under the law, there was a bar against a lady wedding a second spouse while her first spouse is alive unless exclusively allowed her. There was no such bar against men, till a few States passed laws for counteractive action of bigamous relational unions, and present the guideline of monogamy among Hindus. 

Issue of a second wife 

In this whole shame of the second marriage, the individual who endures the most is – the second wife. Legitimately invalid marriage combined with the tag of a "con artist" by the general public is extremely distressing for ladies. 

Laws identifying with plural marriage 

Criminal Law 

Under Section 494 of the IPC a man who has a companion living at the season of his second marriage is subject to be rebuffed and that his marriage is void. In any case, for the situation when the main marriage of the individual was pronounced void, the individual can't be held at risk under this segment. 

Nonetheless, in the event that, the individual have yielded the way that he is hitched, in such a case, to the point that individual can be held subject for bamboozling. 

Banshidhar v Chhabi Chatterjee

"Lady to be legitimately hitched to applicant – practicality of case under sec 488 – if candidate on the date of marriage with the inquirer lady had as of now a lawfully married wife, his marriage with the petitioner – lady will be void under sec 11 of the HMA." 

Evidence Act 

The Indian Evidence Act gives that in the nearness of any likely certainties, the individual's lead and the incident of an occasion, such are utilized as the proof to demonstrate the presence of marriage.

Rangnath Parmeshwar v. Pandirao Mali, it was held that if two persons are living as a wedded couple , then notwithstanding when there is no demonstrate to that impact, the marriage between them is ventured to be substantial. 

Verification of Second Marriage 

With a specific end goal to demonstrate the second marriage, it is critical that the second marriage was finished by every one of the ceremonies that are crucial as per their traditions and practices. Simply an admission that the individual has hitched the second time is insufficient. As indicated by the Hindu traditions, the execution of Saptapadi and homa are crucial to perform so as to get hitched. A second marriage can be made void under S. 494 just when it has been solemnized with every one of the customs and functions. 

Maintainence of the second wife 

Support under Section 125 CrPC 

A wife has the privilege to request the upkeep from her spouse on account of separation under Section 125 of CrPC. In the event that a man has regarded that specific individual as his wife, then that can be dealt with as a proof of their marriage. 

On account of, Mallika and Anr v. P Kulandi , it was held that in the event that the spouse distorted his first wife's passing, his second wife, would have the privilege to upkeep. 

Hindu Marriage Act 

The law of upkeep has been given under S. 24 of the HMA. In any case, this law does not accommodate support to the wife of the second marriage be that as it may, in a catena of cases, the courts have given a wide understanding to this segment. Presently, under S. 24 even a second wife can assert support from her spouse. 

Likewise, under Section 25, HMA the procurements for changeless support has additionally been deciphered broadly by the courts to ensure the privileges of the second wives. After the marriage is dissolved, the second wife has the privilege to assert for upkeep. 

On account of Rajesh Bai v. Shantabai, a lady's marriage was announced void due to the subsistence of any past marriage of her spouse. Court held that she additionally has the privilege to case support, under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA). 

Hindu Adoption And Maintenance Act 

HAMA gives that the second wife can assert support from her spouse even after she relinquished him when she comes to realize that her spouse has another wife living.

Be that as it may, this line 'some other wife living' has been translated differently by the distinctive High Courts. On account of, Satyanarayana v. Sseetheramama, it was held that this expression did not imply that the spouse must be living with his first wife. The presence of the principal wife with no separation is adequate. 

Recent Decisions 

In a late choice in July 2015[7], the Madras High Court held that the second wife of a man who is not lawfully wedded has the privilege to get a family annuity of her expired spouse. For this situation, a man remarried amid the subsistence of his first marriage; thereinafter he lived with his second wife. Be that as it may, he later took separate from his first wife. After his passing, his girl from his first marriage guaranteed his annuity and contended that, since his second marriage is void under S. 494 of IPC, she is qualified for the full benefits of her dad. In the wake of considering upon the actualities of the case, Justice D Hariparanthamam held that, regardless of the possibility that the marriage was not substantial, his second wife stayed with him till last and that the second wife had as of now been given separation. Given the above reason, the judge gave the second wife the privilege to the benefits of her perished spouse. 

The Bombay High Court Decision 

Wife from a second marriage needs to live with the "unlawful" status in Indian culture. In situations when the relationship didn't work, the second wife is left with no support and any partake in the property of her spouse. Be that as it may, in the late choice of Chanmuniya versus Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwaha and Anr 2010, the Bombay High Court has given a memorable judgment. Equity A B Chaudhari said that despite the fact that there is no law that discussions about giving support to the wife of the second void marriage, yet now the wife can request the upkeep and settlement from her spouse under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. 

For this situation, Ramaji wedded Manda, concealing the way that he had a subsisting marriage. Be that as it may, he regarded Manda as his wife and had two little girls out of his second marriage. 

"It is most likely genuine that Ramaji had conned Manda and had kept sexual associations with her subsequent in the introduction of two youngsters… in spite of holding that there had been cozy relationship in the middle of candidate and respondent and he treated her like wife and delivered kids, shockingly, this court can't help Manda for giving her support, under the Hindu law. This is a fit case for Manda to have response to the procurements of the new valuable Act — the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, and continue against her spouse for guaranteeing convenience, support." 

Supreme Court 

In the point of interest judgment chose by the Supreme Court on October 2013, it was held that in the instances of second marriage a second wife has the privilege to case support. On the off chance that the spouse has yielded that actuality that he has a life partner living at the season of his marriage, from his second wife, he is bound by law to give his second wife, with maintenance.

Judges Ranjana P Desai and A K Sikri held that, "Procurement of support would fall in this classification which goes for enabling the desperate and accomplishing social equity or correspondence and pride of the person." 

125 of the CrPC accommodates the support of the wife from the spouse. Such procurement has dependably been for the principal wife. In any case, in the situations where the second wife is kept in dim she is likewise qualified for upkeep. 

Different alternatives dissolution of marriage by the second wife 

The HMA gives the privilege to second wife to get the marriage annulled[10]. Additionally, the second wife has the privilege to request the separation under S. 13(1) of HMA. Under S. 13(1) of HMA, a second wife can request a separation in the event that she finds that her spouse has been now hitched. 


A second wife needs to endure a great deal because of the social disgrace that is joined to the second marriage. The nonappearance of lawful acknowledgment of her marriage is a great deal of torment. Despite the fact that because of the legal point of reference that is accessible for the support of the second wife, however the nonappearance of the reasonable procurement with respect to the upkeep her case for upkeep relies on upon the attentiveness of the judges. 

The nonattendance of such laws gives proviso in the Indian Law. These are effectively misused by the spouses to protect themselves. Along these lines, there is a critical need to make strict and clear laws for second wives, to present to them some rest.