MUMBAI FAMILY COURT VERDICT Mumbai

No interim maintenance for qualified woman, rules judge

A family court here has refused to grant interim maintenance to a woman on the ground that she is educationally qualified.

“She is a highly qualified lady, and she is further pursuing her MBA,” Principal Judge Laxmi P. Rao ruled on Monday.

The court relied on the order of a Madhya Pradesh court in another case, which said, “A lady who is fighting a matrimonial petition filed for divorce, cannot be permitted to sit idle and put her burden on the husband for demanding pendente lite [during litigation] alimony from him during pendency of such matrimonial petition. Section 24 [of the Hindu Marriage Act] is not meant for creating an army of such idle persons who would be sitting idle waiting for a ‘dole’ to be awarded by her husband.”

The court, therefore, ruled, “I hold that the wife is not entitled to interim maintenance. At this stage, she cannot claim permanent maintenance which can be claimed only at the conclusion of the trial.”

Under Section 24, the court can, in its discretion, grant maintenance to a spouse with no independent income while the matrimonial petition is pending.

In this case, the woman filed an application claiming permanent alimony of Rs. 25,000 a month and the same amount as interim maintenance.

She said she was forced to leave her job in August 2013 and had no source of income since then. She was totally dependent on the mercy of her parents and brother.

The husband who initiated divorce proceedings opposed his wife’s claim.

He said since he never objected to her working and she had voluntarily left the house, he was not responsible to pay her maintenance.

He said his wife was employed and earned a sufficient salary to support herself, which she had not disclosed to the court.

The penultimate paragraph of this report read: “He [the husband] said since … she had voluntarily left the house, he was responsible to … maintenance.” It should have been not responsible .


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Printable version | Feb 14, 2022 4:46:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mumbai-family-court-verdict-no-interim-maintenance-for-qualified-woman/article7275810.ece