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Working woman doesn’t need maintenance from estranged spouse: Bombay HC

The court was hearing a plea filed by a television actress, who had challenged a family court order denying her any interim maintenance.

mumbai Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:13 IST
Ayesha Arvind
Ayesha Arvind
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,bombay high court,divorce laws

The Bombay high court, in a recent order, held that a “working woman,” who is “capable of maintaining and sustaining herself,” should not be entitled to receiving maintenance from her estranged spouse.

A bench of Justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav were hearing a plea filed by a television actress, who had challenged a family court order denying her any interim maintenance.

The petitioner separated from her husband, who is also a television actor, in 2010. While their divorce proceedings are currently pending in the family court, she had sought that considering that her husband had not paid her any maintenance amount in the years since their separation, the family court award her an interim maintenance amount of rupees 50,000 each month till the divorce decree is granted.

Her husband, meanwhile, had opposed her demand for interim maintenance saying that while he had worked in TV shows produced by Balaji telefilms between 2005 and 2010, since then, he hadn’t had a stable source of income. He had claimed that he now works “as and when he gets an assignment.”

The family court had accordingly held that since both the parties had failed to produce any documentary evidence of the money that they were making annually, the issue of maintenance would have to be decided upon at a later stage, after examination and cross-examination.

In the high court, however, the woman claimed that she wasn’t part of any TV shows or films currently and thus, had no money of her own. She claimed that for her survival, she was “totally dependent upon her aging parents.” She also told the court that her husband had signed a Telegu movie and thus, made a lot of money. He, thus, be directed to pay her some interim maintenance.

The husband, meanwhile, told HC that when he and his wife used to stay together, he was the one who paid for all expenses, including the expenses incurred by the petitioner’s “parents,” and the money needed to maintain her “pet.”

Taking note of these submissions, the high court held that the mere fact that the petitioner was not part of any TV shows or films currently, did not entitle her to interim maintenance. It held that considering that she was an actor who had been working for the past several years, and that she was “capable of finding work in the future, and thus, sustaining herself,” it did not deem it fit to interfere with the family court’s order.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 11:30 IST