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Man must pay maintenance even if wife earns well: Bombay HC

The Bombay high court (HC) has ruled that a man is bound to pay maintenance to his wife and children after separation, even if the wife has a comfortable income.

mumbai Updated: Aug 01, 2015 21:43 IST
Ayesha Arvind
Ayesha Arvind
Hindustan Times
Bombay high court,Divorce,Separation
A-file-photo-of-Bombay-high-court-HT-photo

The Bombay high court (HC) has ruled that a man is bound to pay maintenance to his wife and children after separation, even if the wife has a comfortable income.

The HC’s ruling came while hearing a petition field by a Pune resident, challenging a family court order to pay Rs 10,000 every month for his wife and Rs 15,000 for the couple’s two minor daughters.

The family court had also asked him to pay the telephone, internet and cable bills, the property tax and the society maintenance charges for the bungalow in which his wife and daughters stay.

The man challenged the order in the HC, claiming the maintenance sum was exorbitant. He sought to be freed from paying the bills of his wife’s establishment, claiming she earned enough to maintain a good lifestyle, while he had to pay for his ailing mother’s treatment for cancer.

He submitted he had spent over Rs 10 lakh towards his mother’s medical expenses and would be required to pay more as her treatment continued. He said the family court failed to consider his expenses.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar, however, rejected the plea, saying a man was bound to contribute towards his wife’s and children’s expenses even after his separation, irrespective of the money his wife earned.

“There is no running away from your responsibility of paying for your daughters and wife. The expenses of internet, cable etc. are mainly of your daughters and you have to pay. The maintenance amount is bifurcated towards the expenses of your wife and daughters, and is not at all exorbitant,” the judge said.

The court further said it was up to the man to devise ways to raise the money. “You can rent out a portion of the house, or move into a part of the bungalow since you claim it is huge, but you will have to pay the maintenance,” justice Bhatkar said.

She, however, allowed the petitioner to file a fresh application before the family court, to bring the facts of his expenses towards his mother’s treatment to its notice.

First Published: Aug 01, 2015 20:50 IST