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Indian Court Rules Divorced Woman Must Abstain From Sex To Receive Alimony

An Indian court has ruled that a divorced woman is to receive alimony from her ex-husband only if she refrains from marrying and from engaging in sexual relationships with other men. 

Justice S. Nagamuthu from the Madras High Court said the divorcee should "maintain discipline as she was expected to maintain during the subsistence of her marriage", according to The Hindu. 

The court order came after a criminal case revision challenging another court's order that obligated the husband to give money to his former wife whom he divorced on the grounds of adultery in 2011. 

Justice Nagamuthu said that current laws protect woman from destitution by ensuring they receive monetary assistance, which is why she is "entitled for maintenance from her erstwhile husband."

"Since a man carries an obligation to maintain his divorced wife, the woman also carried the obligation not to live in relationship with another man," Nagamuthu said. "If she commits breach … she will suffer disqualification from claiming maintenance…"

Nagamuthu added that under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the definition of "wife" includes that of a "divorced wife."

"If she wants to live in relationship with another man, she may be entitled for maintenance from him and not from the former husband," he added.

Activists have already denounced the court's decision through social media, and the South Asia branch of the Human Rights Watch has called for the ruling to be overturned, the Times reported. 

Sources: The Hindu, Daily Mail

Photo Credit: Yoga Balaji/Wikimedia Commons, Bill Bradford/Wikimedia Commons


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