New Delhi: Coming to the rescue of a
30-year-old maid, who claimed to be in a live-in relationship
with her 65-year-old widower employer, the Delhi High Court
has directed him to pay Rs 3,000 a month to her as
Dismissing an appeal filed by west Delhi resident
Mahender, challenging the family court`s direction for
maintenance, Justice Hima Kohli upheld the trial court`s order
accepting the maid`s claim that she along with her three minor
children were living with her employer as husband and wife
"The trial court has reached the conclusion that as
per settled legal principles, in proceedings under Section 125
CrPC relating to maintenance of wives, children and parents,
the standard of proof required to prove the validity of a
marriage is not very stringent," said Justice Kohli.
"If it can be shown that the parties living as husband
and wife, were being treated as married, then the same would
be considered a valid marriage, sufficient to award interim
maintenance to the dependants, she added.
"This court finds no illegality, arbitrariness or
infirmity in the aforesaid finding reached by the trial court.
Further, this court is inclined to agree with the trial court
that the determination of the validity of a marriage can only
be made in the course of the trial, after evidence has been
led by both the parties," the court said.
"In this view of the matter, the submission of the
petitioner that as he is not married to the respondent, he is
not liable to pay any maintenance, is turned down," Justice
Kohli said in her order last week, asking the man to pay
compensation to his maid.
Mahender had come to the high court challenging the
February 4 order of the family court, granting an interim
maintenance to the maid Aarti.
The court rejected Mahender`s contention that the
woman`s petition was not maintainable and should be
dismissed, as there exists no valid marriage between the
petitioner and respondent.
The counsel for Mahender said his client had allowed
the woman to work in his house as a maid as she was a widow
having to look after three children.
He had argued that Mahender was not in a position to
pay the maintenance amount due to financial constraints.
The judge had also noted that Mahender had not placed
on record any document to show that the maid was gainfully
employed and hence saw no need to interfere with the lower
court`s order at this stage.