Maintain Sexual Purity Even After Divorce

Sexual purity is an entirely new concept introduced by the court in 2015. It is paramount for every man to know about sexual purity because it can act as a very big defense when it comes to maintenance! 

Indian matrimonial laws are tilted in favor of women. Women are more likely to get relief from the court in a case of a matrimonial dispute.  It should be appreciated that such laws are achieving their purpose by providing women with a more respectful status in the society both before and after marriage. The laws that provide women alimony have been liberally interpreted by the courts and rightly so. However, the picture is not always as rosy for the men especially when the man has to maintain the divorced woman even when she happens to have another man in her life. However, a significant deviation for this approach came from the Madras High Court in July 2015

Where Did The Concept Come From?

In the month of August 2015, the Madras High Court in the case of M. Chinna Karuppasamy versus Kanimozhi observed that a woman who is divorced needs to maintain discipline like she was expected when she was a married woman. That means divorced women cannot have sexual relationships with any man, or else she is not entitled to get alimony. Further, the Madras HC bench stated that the man is fulfilling the obligation to maintain his ex-wife, so it is the duty of a wife to also carry an obligation to maintain sexual purity even after the divorce. The reason court stated this was because if a divorced woman has found another man to maintain her then why should the former husband take the burden to maintain her.

Under What Law Husband Can Get Relief?

Taking Chapter IX of the Criminal Procedural Code, 1973 (Section 125, which broadly talks about maintenance of wife and child.) under consideration, Justice Nagamuthu stated that the concept of maintenance seeks to prevent a woman from becoming destitute after divorce.  

Under section 125(1) (a) of Cr.P.C, a husband is ordered to maintain his wife if she cannot maintain herself and he is punishable if he does not obey the orders. It is very important to note the meaning of “wife” under section 125 of Cr.P.C, under the Explanation (b) of the section states: “wife” includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried” Here the Madras high court opined that this definition includes that the woman should be living in adultery. Furthermore, section 125, sub-section (4) states that no wife is allowed to receive maintenance if she is living in adultery, or, without any reason, she is not living with her husband, or the husband and wife are living separately by mutual consent. Adultery here means if a legally married wife is in a voluntary sexual relationship with another man apart from her legally entitled husband.

Hence it is pretty much clear that, if a husband even after a divorce is paying maintenance, i.e. he is following his duty of maintaining his ex-wife like he performed when they were married then the wife is also very much obliged to maintain purity as she did during the marriage.

This ruling has added another dimension to the controversy that women protection laws are against men and that the present judgment has objectified women as sex objects.

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