It is the duty of husband to maintain his wife: Delhi HC

The revision petition was filed by Jaiveer Singh, against the order from 2018 by the Family Court which directed the petitioner to pay Rs.17,000 per month maintenance to his wife/respondent Sunita Chaudhari. 

Background:

The marriage between the parties was solemnized in 1985, after which they had three children; two sons and a daughter. The daughter sadly passed away in 2010, but the sons attained majority and are well settled. 

It was stated that the parties had been living separately since 2012. The wife filed a petition for maintenance stating that she was treated with cruelty and was thrown out of the house in the year 2012 and was unable to sustain herself. 

It was stated that the husband draws a salary of Rs.50,000 per month. Apart from that, he also had agricultural land through which he was earning too. The wife had claimed Rs.25,000. However, the petitioner denied claims of cruelty and stated that he had taken care of his entire family and gave his children good education. He also stated that the respondent was a TV actress and also participated in jaagrans and was thus capable to maintain herself. 

In 2014, the district court had held this amount at Rs.9,500 per month, and later fixed it to Rs.17, 000 in 2018. 

Submissions:

The counsel for the petitioner relied on the statement of the wife wherein she stated that she was doing modelling, however it was not enough to sustain her. It was submitted that this amounted to an admission under Sec.26 of the Indian Evidence Act. Evidence of Income and images from magazines were also shown. 

The respondent counsel stated that there was nothing wrong with the trial court order and submitted that it did not require interference by the HC

Decision:

The court saw that the factum of marriage between the parties was not denied. Further it  relied on a verdict of the SC, which stated that the object of the maintenance proceedings is not to punish a person for his past neglect, but to prevent vagrancy by compelling those who can provide support to those who are unable to support themselves and who have a moral claim to support. 

Looking at the precedents, it could be seen that the proceedings under Sec.125 Cr.P.C would have to be 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 permissible ground is contained in the statutes.

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In the present case, the petitioner had only relied on the testimony of the wife. It was clear that she did modelling, but it was not enough to sustain her and she was also out of work recently. The petitioner had a well and stable income so as to pay the said maintenance. 

The petition was thus dismissed. 

Click here to Read/Download Judgement

Story by Sai Kulkarni – Intern

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