Unemployment of Husband Would Not Absolve Him From His Responsibility to Maintain His Wife: Delhi Court Upholds Interim Order of Maintenance

Team SoOLEGAL 14 Feb 2022 4:37pm

Unemployment of Husband Would Not Absolve Him From His Responsibility to Maintain His Wife: Delhi Court Upholds Interim Order of Maintenance

NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court affirmed an order giving the wife a meager sum of interim maintenance of Rs. 5,133 per month, observing that the simple fact that the husband is unemployed does not free him of his obligation to sustain his wife.

Additional Meetings Judge Sanjay Sharma of Tis Hazari Court ruled that the husband cannot avoid his obligation for interim support to the wife by claiming unemployed.

“The fact that the appellant is unemployed would not absolve him from his responsibility to maintain the complainant. The appellant has requisite educational and professional qualification for earning. Termination of service does not mean that the appellant is incapable of finding another employment or work,” it observed.

In a complaint case, the husband filed a criminal appeal under Section – 29 of the protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, after the Mahila Court ordered him to pay interim support to the respondent wife from the date of filing of the petition until its ultimate disposition.

The wife claimed she was exposed to physical and emotional torture as a result of bringing in inadequate dowry, which was followed by claims and counter – allegations against each other. Finally, on October 07th, 2013, she departed the joint residence.

The wife’s plea was that her husband earned more than Rs. 50,000 per month and lived a lavish lifestyle.

The spouse, on the other hand, indicated that he worked for a studio and earned Rs. 6,000 per month. He maintained and had no other means of support. He also claimed that he was paying household expenditures and caring for his elderly father, and that his wife earned more money from stitching job than he did.

After reviewing the contested order, the Court stated:
“The complainant is wife of the appellant. It is trite to state that it is moral and legal obligation for the appellant to maintain his wife and provide her same comforts commensurate to his status and standard of living.”

The Court found that spouse was a graduate and an accomplished photographer, as stated in his further reply.

“The complainant has done 12th standard. She is not employed. She has no source of income. She has no movable or immovable property capable of generating any income. She is residing with her parents. A mere statement that the complainant is earning from stitching work in the absence of any credible material in this regard is inconsequential. She is entitled to seek maintenance from the appellant.” The Judge asked.

The Court also noted that spouse possessed the necessary educational and professional qualifications for earning and that his discharge from service did not imply that he was unable o obtain another job or work.

“The appellant is a graduate. He is able – bodied and experienced photographer. He is residing in ancestral home in a posh colony of Delhi. He is not suffering from any physical disability preventing him from doing any work. He cannot shrink his responsibility regarding interim maintenance towards the complainant by pleading unemployment since 02.09.2016,” the Court said.

As a result, the court dismissed the appeal, stating that there was no basis to interfere with the impugned ruling and that there was no evident mistake of law or process or perversity in it.

Tagged: Husband   Wife   Delhi   Court   Maintenance   Order   Interim   Unemployment   Responsibility   Section29   DomesticViolence   ProtectionofWomen   2005   MahilaCourt   TisHazari     
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