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Expression of (Wife)

The expression wife in sub section (4) whether includes a divorced wife ? The expression of Wife in sub section (4) of section 125 does not have extended meaning of including a women who has been divorced. This is for the obvious meaning of including a women who has been divorced.

This is for the obvious reasons that unless there is a relationship of husband and wife , there is a relationship of husband and wife, there can't be any questions of a divorcee women living in adultery or without sufficient reason refusing to live with the husband.

Subsection (4) of the section, therefore does not apply to the case of a divorced women or has obtained a decree for divorce. She will be entitled to maintenance in the normal course of action if she could show that the responded has had neglected or refused to maintain her,

Since 'Wife' includes a divorced women in terms of clause ( b) of the explanation to sub section (1) of section 125 which presupposes the existence of contemplated by sub section (4) of section 125 presupposes the existence of the matrimonial relations. This provision would be applicable where the marriage between the parties subsist and not where it has come to an end.

A women and man living together for a long time - man acknowledging the women's children as his own - treating the women as his wife, recognized by all concerned as man and wife and so described in documents like ration card, voters list etc there is strong presumption that the women is the wife of the man.

In proceedings under the section ,if the wife succeeds in showing that she and his husband lived together as husband and wife, the court can presume that they are legally wedded spouses. The standard of proof is not as strict as is required in a trial under section 494 IPC

Dwarika v Bidyut
( 1999) 7 SCC 675: 2000,Cr LJ1

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