Love Guru must pay maintenance to his wife: SC

A three-judge bench persuaded both Prof Matuk Nath Choudhary and his wife Abha to mediate with help of senior advocate Anjana Prakash. DH file photo.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday told a Patna University professor, who earned the sobriquet of 'Love Guru' for his open love and live-in relationship with his student 30-years his junior, to take care of his wife by paying her maintenance.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Kurian Joseph, persuaded both Prof Matuk Nath Choudhary and his wife Abha to mediate with help of senior advocate Anjana Prakash.

After the meeting of Prof Matuk and his wife along with their counsel, senior advocate V N Sinha and advocate Durga Dutt and advocate Gaurav Agrawal, during lunch, the court recorded the statement of the husband that he would pay one-third of his salary to the wife as maintenance and clear the arrears of over Rs 8 lakh.

The wife, for her part, agreed to withdraw all the pending proceedings with regard to maintenance against her husband.

Prof Matuk Nath's wife, however, refused to agree to the suggestion made by the bench on April 10 to part ways by granting a divorce to him.

On this, the bench said both the parties would be free to take their decision as advised.

Notably, the bench comprising justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha had earlier asked the wife to redeem herself by coming out of the painful relationship.

Matuk and Abha had been living separately after he started a live-in relationship with the student in 2004.

"Why should you suffer this ignominy? This fellow can drag the case to the next 10 years. The moment he retires, he would try to replace his relationship with you," the bench had then said.

The proceedings before the top court arose out of a plea filed by Matuk Nath against the Patna High Court's order to pay Rs 25,000 per month as interim maintenance, including Rs 15,000 under the Domestic Violence Act, to his wife.

He draws a salary of about Rs 1.8 lakh per month.

The court had in January directed Prof Matuk Nath to pay the wife arrears of Rs 10 lakh, before it started considering his plea against the high court's order of September 21 last year.

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