Homemakers as busy as professionals, need to shed misnomer that they are free: Karnataka High Court

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New Delhi | Published: May 2, 2018 1:51:31 PM

Gender justice and equality have been one of the focus areas in modern society. Cases like these highlights that the society is yet to attain a level where the work of a woman is regarded equal to a man's.

Karnataka High Court (Photo: PTI)

In a development that could go a long way towards attaining gender equality, the Karnataka High Court has rejected a husband’s petition challenging a family court’s order to bear the travel expenses of his estranged wife, observing that housewives are as busy as any other professional who goes out and works.

Gaurav Raj Jain, the husband, said in his petition that his homemaker wife has “free time” and she can always travel by train. The court not only rejected the petition, but also ordered him to bear the air travel expense of Rs 32,114 of his wife Sweta Jain, who lives in Muzzafarnagar, for attending the divorce hearings in Bengaluru.

Married in June 2009, Sweta filed a case against her husband in March 2016 and later filed a divorce petition. Gaurav also filed a divorce case on the grounds of cruelty and desertion. As Sweta was living in Muzaffarnagar, while her husband filed a case in Bengaluru, she approached the Supreme Court to transfer her case. However, the Supreme Court rejected her request but made an observation that she can claim ‘requisite expenditure’ to attend hearings in Bengaluru.

Eventually, Sweta went to Family Court to claim the expenses for travelling to Bengaluru.

The HC noted that SC’s ‘requisite expenditure’ observation is not limited to train travel expenses. Justice R S Chauhan also observed that “a large number of people continue to carry a misnomer that a housewife is ‘free’. Needless to say, a housewife is as busy as a professional person. After all, she is responsible for looking after members of family and for running the house.”

Gender justice and equality have been one of the focus areas in modern society. Cases like these highlights that the society is yet to attain a level where the work of a woman is regarded equal to a man’s.

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