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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Cannot deny maintenance if woman leaves job to care for children: Bombay HC

The division bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla said that if a divorced mother decides to relinquish her full-time job to bring up her young daughter, it can hardly be grounds to deny her maintenance, more so when the husband is earning a sizeable income.

mumbai Updated: Sep 26, 2019 03:27 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Mumbai
A divorced woman cannot be deprived of maintenance if she had to give up her job to bring up her child, the Bombay high court (HC) said as it directed a city resident to pay his estranged wife monthly maintenance of Rs 15,000.
A divorced woman cannot be deprived of maintenance if she had to give up her job to bring up her child, the Bombay high court (HC) said as it directed a city resident to pay his estranged wife monthly maintenance of Rs 15,000.(HT Photo)
         

A divorced woman cannot be deprived of maintenance if she had to give up her job to bring up her child, the Bombay high court (HC) said as it directed a city resident to pay his estranged wife monthly maintenance of Rs 15,000.

The division bench of justice Akil Kureshi and justice SJ Kathawalla said that if a divorced mother decides to relinquish her full-time job to bring up her young daughter, it can hardly be grounds to deny her maintenance, more so when the husband is earning a sizeable income.

The bench was hearing the plea filed by the woman last year, seeking a sum of ₹15,000 per month from her husband as maintenance. She had filed a plea in her pending appeal, challenging the family court’s order, granting a decree of divorce to her husband. Claiming that she had no independent source of income, the woman stated that her husband was employed with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and was earning a monthly salary of over ₹1 lakh.

Her plea was opposed by her husband, who claimed that his ex-wife received earnings by way of rent on a flat. Besides, her husband argued, she could earn and was earlier employed, but had given up her job to take care of their daughter.

The HC, however, rejected his contentions. The bench noted that there was no evidence suggesting that the wife was employed, although she had an income of ₹7,000 per month through a flat that she rented out.

At the same time, the judges noted that the husband, a section officer with ONGC earned ₹1.13 lakh as salary. They, therefore, felt that the demand of ₹15,000 per month by his estranged wife was not unreasonable.