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Wife entitled to maintenance even if living in estranged husband’s home, says Delhi Court

The woman had alleged torture by her husband and had filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

The sessions court, however, did not agree with this argument and said that the woman has three kids and had accused her husband and in-laws of domestic violence.

The Delhi Court has ruled that a wife is entitled to receive maintenance from her estranged husband even if both live in the same house. The Delhi Court’s verdict came while allowing a woman’s plea for interim maintenance. The court also observed that an educated woman may not be allowed to take up a regular job in Indian society as she has to attend to the needs of her matrimonial home.

Additional Sessions Judge Monika Saroha termed it ‘unbelievable’ that the husband is neither paying any maintenance nor taking care of her necessities, reported Bar and Bench. The woman had approached the court after a trial court dismissed her plea seeking interim maintenance from her estranged husband.

The woman had alleged torture by her husband and had filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The allegations were denied by the husband. The trial court had refused interim maintenance to the woman while noting that she had Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees and was capable of taking care of herself.

The sessions court, however, did not agree with this argument and said that the woman has three kids and had accused her husband and in-laws of domestic violence. She cannot be denied maintenance only because she had procured a BA and B.Ed degrees many years ago. The woman had alleged that she was not allowed to work by her husband and parents-in-law after marriage.

The court also observed that only because the husband was bearing the expenses related to the children’s education, food, etc, no presumption could be made that he must be maintaining his wife.

It was put on record that the trial court’s order had come when the woman was living in the matrimonial home with no obligation towards rent or electricity and water bills. The higher court underlined that the woman was still entitled to a maintenance amount for her daily needs like food, toiletries, groceries and clothing.

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