The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given a decision in favour of interim maintenance to the wife, who is living separately from her husband on her own terms.
The court said that the husband is duty bound as per law to give a fixed amount as maintenance to his wife. The High Court ruled that even if the husband is without a job, he will have to pay alimony/maintenance to his wife. The High Court has awarded the wife an allowance of Rs 6,000 per month.
The lower court order of paying maintenance to wife was challenged by the husband calling for a cancellation of the order ‘Under section 18 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005’. However, the High Court has upheld the lower court judgement.
Section 24 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the court to be reasonable [Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be].
As you read above, in theory Section 24 spells out “either wife or husband without independent income”, however, in most cases court holds husband responsible for maintaining a fully-abled wife. It must also be noted that there are no directions from court whatsoever, asking the wife, who chooses to live separately, to make an effort to work and support herself as well.
Granting money by default to estranged wives, only leads to creating a society full of physically abled humans wanting free lunches.
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