AMMUKUTTY AMMA PONNAMMA Vs. NARAYANA PANIKKAR NEELAKANTAN NAIR
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
AMMUKUTTY AMMA PONNAMMA
NARAYANA PANIKKAR NEELAKANTAN NAIR
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(1.) This is a petition to revise the order of the Munsif-Magistrate, Ettumanoor dismissing an application which the petitioner made under S.488 Cr. P. C. for getting maintenance from the respondent.
(2.) The respondent married the petitioner in April 1948, while he was in Military service. The petitioner's case is that, while this marriage remains in force, the respondent married another lady by a registration in December 1951, and thereafter he neglected to maintain the petitioner. She complained to the Military authorities as a result of which he began to send her some money. Subsequently, he was discharged from the Military, and he had not been giving her any maintenance during the past one year. On these and other allegations which are not necessary to be stated here, she claimed a monthly maintenance of Rs. 60/-from the respondent. The respondent, while admitting the marriage, contended that the petitioner left his house contrary to his instructions soon after the marriage, and began to live an immoral life in her own house. In April 1949, when he came on leave, he went to the petitioner's house to take her home, but he was turned out by the petitioner and her relations. She told him positively that she did not want to be his wife thereafter, and declared that their marital relation had come to an end. According the respondent their marriage stood dissolved in this fashion. The respondent did not deny his second marriage with another lady. He also pleaded inability to maintain the petitioner, particularly on the ground that he had a wife and four children.
(3.) In support of his plea that the marriage was dissolved the respondent examined himself and. two more witnesses. According to their evidence, the dissolution took place, not as stated in the written-statement of the respondent but through the mediation of these two witnesses and others at the desire of both the parties. The lower court accepted this evidence, and held that the marital relation between the petitioner and the respondent came to an end in April 1949 in the aforesaid fashion. The petitioner's counsel contended before me that the finding of the lower court is patently erroneous, that there are only two methods provided under the Travancore Nair Act 2/1100, which applies to the parties, for the dissolution of a marriage, namely by mutual consent evidenced by a registered instrument or by a formal order of dissolution by a competent court, and that his client was entitled to maintenance as she continued to be the wife of the respondent, and the respondent admittedly refused to maintain her. It is clear from a reading of S.4 and 8 of the Travancore Nair Act that the dissolution of a marriage cannot be effected in the manner found by the lower court, and that the second marriage performed by the respondent is void under law.;
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