NEW DELHI: Madras High Court has ruled that women who have been divorced by their husbands on the ground of adultery cannot claim alimony from them. And if they sex with another man after the divorce they can forget about the alimony too.

The court made this observation while revising an earlier decision by a lower court in the case of a man who was ordered to pay Rs.1000 a month to his wife as alimony.

"Just as a man has an obligation to maintain his divorced wife, the woman also has an obligation not to have illicit relationship with another man," said Justice Nagamuthu the presiding judge.

The judge made it clear that the cancellation of alimony is not exclusive for the women who were divorced because of adultery but even for the divorcee women who indulge in intercourse with any other man afterwards.

The judge said, ““The very object of introducing Chapter IX in the Code of Criminal Procedure for maintenance of wife, children and parents is to rescue them from destitution by extending monetary assistance. Even after divorce, the law takes care that a woman does not end up in destitution and that is the reason why she is entitled for maintenance from her erstwhile husband.”

“Since a man carries an obligation to maintain his divorced wife, the woman also carries the obligation not to live in relationship with another man. If she commits breach… she will suffer disqualification from claiming maintenance… If she wants to live in relationship with another man, she may be entitled for maintenance from him and not from the former husband."