New Delhi: The Delhi High Court upheld a family court’s order refusing to order a man to pay maintenance to his wife. It noted that the law regulating spousal support is not intended to create a group of people who are dependent on financial support from their estranged partners.
The family court had rejected the woman’s appeal and sought interim maintenance of Rs 35,000 per month and legal costs of Rs 55,000.
A bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Krishna Bansal observed that the woman had an M.Phil degree at the time of her marriage and had since acquired a PhD. in management, along with professional qualifications in computers.
It also referred to an earlier judgment of another Supreme Court which said that Section 24 (maintenance of pending counsel and costs of proceedings) of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) seeks to provide relief to a spouse who is unable to do so to make a living and to provide financial support. despite serious efforts.
The pending maintenance includes the maintenance of the applicant spouse and the costs associated with the legal proceedings, it said.
However, the court said that Section 24 of the HMA cannot be misused to encourage those involved in litigation to remain idle and seek financial support from their spouses.
The court pointed out that the woman was not only highly qualified but was also employed at the time of her marriage. She did not initially disclose her employment status and only did so after submitting her child support application, it said.
The Supreme Court was satisfied that she was capable of earning money and that her true income had not been honestly disclosed. She was found to be employed in the office of a legislator.
Therefore, the High Court ruled that the woman, who was both highly qualified and employed, was not entitled to maintenance. It noted that her maintenance claim under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act had also been rejected.
The Supreme Court therefore found the woman’s appeal to be unfounded and dismissed it.