Wives Sacrifice Career For Family, Their Capability To Earn Is Not A Ground To Deny Maintenance: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court has held that being capable of earning is no ground to deny an estranged wife interim maintenance as many a times wives sacrifice their career only for the family.
Justice Subramonium Prasad, who was dealing with a man's challenge to a trial court order granting over Rs. 33,000 as interim maintenance to his respondent wife under Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, stated that the object behind the provision was to prevent vagrancy and destitution of a deserted wife and bring down her agony and financial sufferings.
The Judge rejected the Petitioner's submission that his wife was capable of making a living as she was previously employed as a teacher and said "The fact that the Respondent is capable of earning is also no ground to deny interim maintenance to the Respondent herein. Many times wives sacrifice their career only for the family."
The Court also rejected the husband's contention that being an army officer, the maintenance claim would have to be decided in accordance with the Army Order by the Armed Forces Tribunal.
"It cannot be said that the Army Order would over-ride the provisions of Section 125 CrPC and that the Army personnel are covered only by the Army Order and that Section 125 CrPC would not apply to Army Personnel," the Court said in its order dated December 21.
While upholding the Trial Court's decision to grant interim maintenance in the case, the court however reduced the amount granted to the wife on account of the fact that the children were no longer residing with her.
"The Revision Petition is allowed in part. The petitioner is directed to pay a sum of Rs. 14,615/- per month as interim maintenance to the Respondent herein w.e.f 01.01.2017," the Court ordered.
"The material on record discloses that the children are with the Petitioner herein from 2015 and, therefore, the Respondent is not entitled to two shares. The Respondent is, therefore, entitled to only one share," the Court said.
The Petitioner opposed the grant of interim maintenance on the ground that the Respondent was disqualified from getting that benefit as she was in an adulterous relationship and was living in adultery with his army senior.
The Respondent argued that there was no infirmity in the Trial Court order granting maintenance of Rs. 35,300 and claimed the Petitioner could not escape his responsibility even though their marriage fell apart.
She submitted that the Petitioner was an uncaring spouse who neglected her and the children throughout the marriage and when she decided to live separately, he foisted the wild charge of adultery to avoid paying maintenance to her.
The Court said the issue of adultery could be decided only after evidence is tendered by both the parties and at the time of fixing interim maintenance, it was not inclined to go into it.
With PTI Inputs