Can’t deny maintenance, if woman gives up job for bringing up children: HC

Updated on Sep 25, 2019 01:29 PM IST

The division bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla said if a single woman, a divorced mother is forced to relinquish her full time job for bringing up a young daughter, it can hardly be a ground to deny her maintenance.

The bench was hearing plea filed by the woman last year seeking sum of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>15,000 from her husband for her maintenance.(HT photo)
The bench was hearing plea filed by the woman last year seeking sum of 15,000 from her husband for her maintenance.(HT photo)
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByKanchan Chaudhari

A divorced woman cannot be deprived of maintenance, if she had to give up her job for bringing up a young child, the Bombay high court has said and directed a city resident to pay his estranged wife monthly maintenance of 15,000.

The division bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla said if a single woman, a divorced mother is forced to relinquish her full time job for bringing up a young daughter, it can hardly be a ground to deny her maintenance. The bench said this is more so when the husband himself is earning regular sizeable income.

The bench was hearing plea filed by the woman last year seeking sum of 15,000 from her husband for her maintenance. She had filed a plea in her pending appeal challenging the Family Court order granting decree of divorce to her husband.

Claiming that she had no independent source of income for her sustenance, the woman stated that her husband was employed with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and was earning over a lakh of rupees per month.

Her plea was strongly opposed by her husband claiming that she was earning by way of rent of a flat. Besides, her husband argued, she had the capacity to earn and was earlier employed, but had given up the job, and she was therefore not entitled to maintenance.

High court, however, rejected his contentions. The bench noticed that there was no evidence suggesting that the wife was employed, although she had a meagre income of 7,000 per month received by way of rent of the flat that she owned.

At the same time, the judges noted, the husband, a section officer with ONGC earned 1.13 lakh as salary and was able to save sum of 32,000 every month by way of voluntary contribution to the provident fund. They, therefore, felt that the demand of 15,000 per month by his estranged wife was not an unreasonable.

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