The City Civil and Sessions Court of Ahmedabad in August 2019 reduced the maintenance that a lower court had asked a man to pay his wife, after the husband argued how he simply did not earn enough to part with monthly amount decided by court.
After the hearing, the court reduced the maintenance amount from Rs 6,500 to Rs 2,000 per month. Interestingly, the man pleaded his own case after his lawyer failed to turn up.
The man had appealed against a lower court’s verdict, wherein he was ordered to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs 6,500 per month to his estranged wife. The husband argued that his take-home pay itself was Rs 6,542, which meant he would be left with mere Rs 42 per month after paying his wife.
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The court among other things also considered the fact that when queried whether his take-home pay was still Rs 6,542, the man honestly replied that at present it was Rs 8,000 per month.
Reducing the maintenance to be paid to the wife, the court observed that the amount fixed by the lower court was exorbitant in this case. The court also relied on the fact that there was nothing on record to show physical torment except narrative of words in the affidavit filed by the wife. The court while reducing the maintenance said,
Husband’s other personal expenses, savings, obligations towards his family – all these cannot be simply put at bay to cater to his wife’s demands.
The court also relied on the medical papers produced by the man to show that his parents who lived with him both suffered from medical conditions. While his father had coronary problems his mother was paralysed and he had said in court that his parents were totally dependent on him.
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While reducing the maintenance, the court further relied on the man’s pleas that he had spent a few days in jail for not paying the maintenance and that in future he would find himself in jail as he was simply not in a position to pay.
The “Samadhan Karar” that the man had entered into with the wife where he agreed to pay Rs 1.3 lakh as settlement also got him the court’s sympathy which could not help observing that it was more a sort of apologetic undertaking reflective of his keenness to buy peace. The woman had also dragged husband’s brother who is in the Armed Forces and his entire family in the case.
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In 2020, where we talk of empowering women, our courts still fail to order fully-abled women to go out and work. In the above case, the sheer casual and careless attitude of the lower court to please the woman cannot be overlooked — especially when they even failed to consider that the man who toiled to earn the money himself, would be rendered penniless alongside the liability of his aged parents.
Such is the extent of our gender biased laws in India.
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