Mumbai: 'Husband earns less than wife, but must pay her maintenance', observes court

The couple, who have two adult sons, had started living separately since 2015. The wife and sons had started living in a rented flat in Ghatkopar.

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Sunday, August 14, 2022, 11:07 PM IST
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Observing that a wife is the responsibility of the husband and he is liable to maintain her whatever he earns, a sessions court has dismissed a 52-year-old man's challenge in a domestic violence case to pay interim maintenance to his wife, a businesswoman who earns more than him.

The couple, who have two adult sons, had started living separately since 2015. The wife and sons had started living in a rented flat in Ghatkopar. The man is living at a transit camp and challenged the order of a Vikhroli magistrate court that had directed him to pay Rs. 8,000 as interim maintenance to her and Rs. 8,000 as rent for alternate accommodation.

The man had said in his appeal that his wife is a businesswoman and earns sufficiently. He contended that the provision of maintenance is for vulnerable women who are totally dependent on the husband’s income. He said she lives in a posh society paying Rs. 26,000 as rent and he lives in a transit camp with a common toilet. This, he said, shows her sound financial capacity compared with him. He pointed out that she also owns agricultural land and a house in Satara.

Additional Sessions Judge CV Patil noted that since 2015, he has not made arrangements for maintenance for her and has “just raised hands” on the grounds of her being an earning woman and that therefore, she should not claim maintenance. It said that only because she is an earning woman, her right to maintenance cannot be declined. The court also relied on a recent apex court judgment which observed that even if the wife is earning, she is entitled for maintenance. It said further that the applicant also runs business and has other properties and therefore must pay the amounts to her.

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