Kanu Sarda, Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, March 01, 2009
In a significant order, a Lok Adalat (peoples' court) in New Delhi dealing with matrimonial cases Sunday ruled that even a second wife has the right to maintenance for herself and their child.
The Lok Adalat was organised by Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in which 60 cases relating to maintenance and domestic violence were listed in four courts in the capital.
The court headed by a presiding officer equal to the rank of additional district and sessions judge along with a senior advocate directed Delhi Police constable Ram Gopal (name changed) to pay his second wife Nivedita (name changed) Rs.4,000 per month as maintenance.
The court also asked the constable to include the name of his daughter in his official documents, including the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), so that she can avail the facility.
Ram Gopal married Nivedita in 2003, despite the fact that he already had a wife with whom he has three children.
Ram Gopal, however, did not ignore Nivedita and provided her with a house and other amenities.
He also expressed willingness to continue living with Nivedita, but she refused.
"I am ready to share the expense of my daughter's upbringing, including her studies, but the court decided that my wife will keep her and I will pay her Rs.4,000 a month. I am happy with the decision," Ram Gopal told IANS soon after his case was heard in the Patiala House Court complex.
The court also sent the settlement papers to the concerned court and fixed March 5 for the final disposal of the case.
The decisions by Lok Adalats are final and binding and no appeals can be made against their orders in future.
According to the data provided by DLSA, 5,426 cases of domestic violence and 7,700 cases of maintenance are pending in the five district courts of the capital.
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