New Delhi, Sep 12 (SocialNews.XYZ) Upholding a family court's order, the Delhi High Court has refused to direct a man to pay maintenance to his wife, noting that the law governing maintenance for a spouse is not intended to create a group of individuals reliant on financial support from their estranged partners.
The family court had declined the woman's appeal seeking interim maintenance of Rs 35,000 per month, in addition to litigation expenses of Rs 55,000.
A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Krishna Bansal noted that the woman held an M.Phil degree at the time of her marriage and had since obtained a Ph.D. in Management, along with professional qualifications in computers.
It also referred to a previous judgement by another high court, which stated that Section 24 (Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings) of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) is designed to provide monetary assistance to either spouse who is incapable of supporting themselves, despite sincere efforts.
Maintenance pendente lite encompasses the claimant spouse's support and the costs associated with legal proceedings, it noted.
However, the court said that Section 24 of the HMA should not be misused to encourage individuals engaged in legal disputes to remain idle while seeking financial support from their spouses.
The court pointed out that not only was the woman highly qualified, but she had also been employed at the time of her marriage. It said that she initially failed to disclose her employment status and only did so after her application for maintenance was filed.
The high court was convinced that she had the ability to earn and that her true income had not been honestly disclosed. It was established that she was employed in the office of a legislator.
Hence, the high court ruled that the woman, who was both highly qualified and employed, was not entitled to maintenance. It noted that her claim for maintenance under the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act had also been rejected.
The high court, therefore, found no merit in the woman's appeal and dismissed it.