The Punjab and Haryana High Court has once again made it clear that an estranged husband cannot, in any manner, escape the moral and legal responsibility of maintaining his legally wedded wife and minor daughter. The Bench also made it clear that an able-bodied person could not take the plea of unemployment to avoid paying maintenance, reported The Tribune India.
Justice HS Madaan was hearing a case where the petitioner-husband had claimed that he was unemployed and the monthly maintenance amount of Rs 9,000 awarded by the family court was on the higher side.
The petitioner had denied working as a lecturer in some college on a monthly salary of Rs 40,000. Rather, his claim was that he was unemployed. However, the high court insisted the fact that he was an able-bodied person.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
Justice Madaan asserted the husband was an able-bodied person and according to the high court, the maintenance amount of Rs 9, 000 was granted after observing the man’s probable earning capacity. The court further noted that such amount could certainly not be taken to be on the higher side keeping in view the trend of rising prices of even the basic necessities and in light of his probable income and the economic status of the parties. Justice Madaan said,
It is moral as well as legal responsibility of the revisionist/petitioner to maintain his legally wedded wife, unable to maintain herself as well as his minor daughter. The revisionist cannot escape that responsibility in any manner.
This is not the first time Justice Madaan has emphasised how a husband is solely responsible to maintain his estranged wife. In November 2018, while dismissing plea of a man challenging a family court order jailing him for not paying the maintenance to his wife, Justice Madaan then ordered,
The first and foremost duty of the husband is to maintain the wife and the child. He may beg, borrow or steal.
The above remark was however, first coined by Justice Jitendra Chauhan of Punjab & Haryana High Court in his 2013 order.
- In a world where feminists scream equality, they never raise their voice on this regressive patriarchal system, where only and only the man becomes the provider of his wife or estranged wife
- Such is the hypocrisy, when activists demand equality and equal rights in ever possible sphere, however, they go missing when it comes to making women accountable with equal responsibilities
- High court constantly emphasises how the man is a fully-abled body, but completely overlooks the fact that women too, don’t become crippled during separation or divorce
- Maintenance laws in India are obsolete, which allow many women to exploit ex-husbands for life
- The term ‘maintenance’ was supposed to be a financial support for separated spouses, however, there is no definite timeline to end the same
- Many men in India have separated years ago, after suffering the mental and physical cruelties from their spouses, yet there is no onus on their fully abled wives to become self dependent or…. Atmanirbhar
- As a system, we have failed to progress, where courts feel that only separated mothers can take care of the children, while separated men will be constantly hammered to keep footing the bills —- with no end in the divorce proceedings