The Punjab and Haryana High Court in its recent order has observed that a husband has a moral and legal liability to maintain his wife unable to maintain herself, even if he is a professional beggar.
This was a case of interim maintenance order being challenged by the man during the pendency of the divorce matter.
As reported by Livelaw, the wife of the petitioner had filed for divorce along with an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act seeking interim maintenance of Rs 15,000 per month and litigation expense of Rs 11,000 from her husband.
The said application was allowed by the trial Court and the husband was ordered to pay Rs 5,000 per month to the wife. Along with this, the husband was also additionally ordered to pay Rs 500 per hearing on getting marked her presence before the Court.
Subsequently, the man appealed against this order in the High Court.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
The matter was being heard by the bench of Justice Harminder Singh Madaan who dismissed the plea filed by the husband. The High Court was of the opinion that the husband/petitioner is an able-bodied person and nowadays, even a manual labourer manages to earn Rs 500 or more per day.
The Court added that keeping in view the trend of rising prices and that things of basic needs are getting very costly, the maintenance awarded cannot be said to be on the higher side. Citing Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act and dismissing the revision plea of the husband, Justice Madaan said,
- On one hand, women rights activists cry for equality – No one has any problem with the term ‘maintain’
- On other hand, men are ordered to pay, even at the cost of humiliation at courts
- There is no onus whatsoever on the fully-abled woman to even try and become financially independent
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"Even If You Are A Professional Beggar, It Is Your Moral & Legal Responsibility To Maintain Wife": Punjab & Haryana HC
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) March 31, 2023
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