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Maintenance plea: Court refuses to give relief to HIV+ man

By Charul Shah, Mumbai
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2019 08:13 PM IST

A sessions court refused to entertain a plea filed by a man who sought relief from paying maintenance to his wife on the grounds that he is HIV positive and cannot work.

The husband had filed an appeal in the sessions court against a magistrate court order directing him to pay 20,000 a month to his wife.

Additional sessions judge Sunil T Soor, while rejecting the plea last week, observed, “The only contention of the appellant’s advocate is that as the appellant is suffering from HIV disease, he cannot work. But the contention is not sustainable as HIV patient cannot be debarred from working and earning.”

The husband, who used to work at a leading auditing firm, had approached the court against the magistrate court’s order to pay interim alimony to his wife, who accused him of domestic violence. The wife had filed a case under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, alleging that her husband and in-laws deliberately suppressed the fact that he was suffering from HIV. She also claimed that he subjected her to domestic violence.

She alleged the husband indulged in sexual activities with others, and filed a case of cheating against him. During the probe, the police found he had sent vulgar messages to several women.

She demanded interim maintenance of 50,000, along with 35,000 for rent, from her husband and 1 crore from her in-laws to buy a flat in Mumbai.

Following the magistrate court’s order in the case, the husband filed an appeal in the sessions court. He pleaded that while he used to earn 75,000 a month before, he was now unemployed owing to his medical condition.

The wife contested his claim and pointed out that he was still earning 70,000 a month. She also mentioned that now she has to undergo regular medical examination for STD and HIV.

The court, after considering the arguments from both sides and their standard of living, observed, “Under the circumstances, granting interim maintenance of 20,000 per month to the applicant is not excessive.”

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