The Bombay High Court has ordered a woman teacher to pay alimony to her former husband. The woman had approached the High Court challenging a local court order but the High Court upheld the order passed by the Nanded court and directed the woman to pay alimony to her indigent former husband. The woman had contended that since she had divorced her husband in 2015, the lower court order should be quashed. The man had approached the local court seeking permanent alimony two years later.
The local court had passed orders in this case in 2017 and 2019. Upholding the order in its February 26 verdict, Justice Bharati Dangre of the Aurangabad bench of the high court ruled that the woman teacher should pay interim monthly maintenance of Rs 3,000 to her ex-husband as per the direction of the civil court.
The civil court had also directed the headmaster of her school to deduct Rs 5,000 from her salary every month and deposit the same with the court towards unpaid maintenance since August 2017. Justice Dangre said sections 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act confer a right on the indigent spouse to claim maintenance and upheld the lower court’s order.
The woman’s lawyer argued that once a marriage had ended, neither party had a right to claim any maintenance or alimony. The man’s counsel contested the argument saying that section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act did not provide for any restriction on the claim of maintenance or alimony in this way.
The man claimed that he had no source of income and he suffered from some health issues that had rendered him unfit for work. He said that the woman had completed her education and become a teacher after their marriage. “In order to encourage the wife (petitioner woman) to obtain the degree, he had managed the household affairs, keeping aside his own ambition,” he said in his plea.