Husband’s duty to maintain wife, support her financially, says Delhi High Court

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April 06, 2021 7:45 PM

The Delhi High Court has said it is the duty and obligation of a husband to maintain his wife and to provide financial support to her and their children except if any legally permissibly ground is contained in the statutes

Advertisements promoting drugs, alcohol, cigarette or tobacco items are in the negative ads list under the DAO Policy, the petition has said.Advertisements promoting drugs, alcohol, cigarette or tobacco items are in the negative ads list under the DAO Policy, the petition has said.

The Delhi High Court has said it is the duty and obligation of a husband to maintain his wife and to provide financial support to her and their children except if any legally permissibly ground is contained in the statutes. Justice Subramonium Prasad upheld the order of a trial court directing the man to pay monthly amount of Rs 17,000 to his estranged wife and said he has not been able to point out any perversity in the order.

The high court said the man, who has challenged the trial court order, is an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) and is earning well so as to pay Rs 17,000 monthly to his wife who has no stable source of income. “No material has been placed on record to show that the respondent (wife) is able to sustain herself. Magazine covers are not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the respondent can sustain herself,” it said.

The high court noted that the woman, in her statement before the trial court, had said that she was doing modelling of and on but was earning very low income and that her statement by itself does not mean that she was able to sustain herself or that she was earning enough to sustain herself.

“A perusal of the law laid down by the Supreme Court would indicate that the proceedings under Section 125 CrPC have been enacted to remedy/reduce the financial sufferings of a lady, who was forced to leave her matrimonial house, so that some arrangements could be made to enable her to sustain herself.

“It is the duty of the husband to maintain his wife and to provide financial support to her and their children. A husband cannot avoid his obligation to maintain his wife and children except if any legally permissibly ground is contained in the statutes,” it said, in its order passed on Monday.

The man and woman had got married in June 1985 and out of the wedlock, two sons and one daughter were born to them. The daughter passed away in 2010 and the two sons are major now and are well employed now.

The couple have been staying separately since 2012 and the woman alleged that she was ill treated by her husband and was thrown out of the house and has been unable to support herself and needs maintenance from the man. The woman claimed that her husband was drawing a salary of Rs 50,000 per month and has also got agricultural land from which also he gets income.

The man, however, denied the allegations of cruelty and stated that he has taken care of his children and given them good education and that the woman is a working lady earning handsomely. He claimed that the woman participates in jagrans and do TV serials and she was in a position to take care of and maintain herself .

The high court said that apart from filing a few covers of magazines and one newspaper clipping nothing has been filed by the man to substantiate that the woman was earning sufficient income to maintain herself.

“The petitioner (man) at present is working as an ASI, both his sons are majors and are well employed and he is not under any obligation to maintain his two children but he is under a legal obligation to maintain his wife. The respondent (woman) herein is forced to stay alone,” it said.

On being asked by the court whether the man has filed any petition for divorce, his counsel stated that the children do not want him to take divorce from his wife. “In view of the above, it becomes the moral and legal obligation of the petitioner/husband to maintain his wife. Considering the fact that the petitioner is an ASI, having virtually no other liability, he can pay Rs 17,000 per month to the respondent/wife who otherwise is not able to maintain herself,” the high court said while dismissing the man’s revision petition.

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