Destitute husband cannot seek wife's company, rules HC | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Destitute husband cannot seek wife's company, rules HC

A husband who wants his wife to live with him must first prove that he can maintain her, the Bombay high court has said while deciding the petition filed by a city-based woman seeking permanent maintenance.

mumbai Updated: Apr 14, 2012 02:11 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

A husband who wants his wife to live with him must first prove that he can maintain her, the Bombay high court has said while deciding the petition filed by a city-based woman seeking permanent maintenance.

"The husband should first show that he is capable of maintaining his wife, and then demand her company," justice Roshan Dalvi observed while remanding back the wife's plea seeking permanent maintenance. "No husband who fails to maintain his wife can have the right to demand his conjugal rights," the judge added.

The woman had approached the court after a family court at Bandra rejected her plea seeking permanent maintenance in September 2010 on the grounds that she had left matrimonial home for no reasonable cause and allowed her husband's plea for restitution of conjugal rights.

The couple had tied the knot in 2006, but, according to the wife, within a few days of the marriage, family members started harassing her for more dowry, after which she returned to her parents' home.

The family court had, however, accepted the claim of her husband that her allegations of harassment for dowry were false, and therefore there was no need for her to leave the matrimonial home.

The husband claimed he and earned Rs3,000 per month, of which justice Dalvi observed: "His position as a husband is, therefore, precarious… The husband is hardly eligible to marry, to keep a wife, to make a family and even more ineligible to demand that his wife returns home when he claims to earn only Rs3,000 pm."

The judge also observed that the husband was living with a joint family in a shanty-like home admeasuring 125 square feet.

The court has remanded the woman's plea for permanent maintenance back to the family court for determining the quantum of maintenance. Until then, her husband has been directed to pay her Rs1,000 per month towards interim maintenance.