The Bombay High Court on Friday passed oral comments on how it is the choice of a woman to either work or stay at home even if she is qualified and educated to work.
While the matter has been listed for a later date, these comments have raised several questions on the notion of privileged equality for women.
Parties got married in 2010. Three years later, the wife, along with their daughter, began living separately.
In April 2013, she initiated proceedings under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act against the husband and his family. In 2014, ironically she filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights.
The woman had also initiated proceedings under Section 498A (cruelty) of the IPC.
Demand of Maintenance
While the Domestic Violence proceedings were pending, the wife filed for maintenance before a family court under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) at Pune.
The application was allowed, and the judge directed the husband to pay:
- Rs 5,000 per month to the wife
- Rs 7,000 towards maintenance of the child
- Total Rs 12,000 per month
This order was challenged by the husband in the present petition filed through Advocate Ajinkya Udane.
Arguments by Husband
In his plea, the husband stated that he was left with no resources or money to fight the continuous proceedings being filed by his wife.
The husband argued that his estranged wife had falsely claimed she did not have a source of income, when in fact, she was a salaried employee.
Husband’s counsel Advocate Abhijit Sarwate also argued that the family court unfairly directed the husband to pay maintenance despite the wife having a job.
Justice Bharati Dangre heard the matter and remarked that merely because a woman is a graduate does not mean that she has to work and cannot stay back at home. She said,
Our society has not yet accepted that the woman of the household should contribute (towards finances). It is a woman’s choice to work. Just because she (one of the parties to the case) is a graduate does not mean she cannot sit at home.
The lady judge gave her personal example quoting,
Today I am a judge, tomorrow suppose I may sit at home. Will you say ‘I am qualified to be a judge and shouldn’t sit at home.
The Judge rejected husband’s claims arguing no maintenance to educated wife, observing how it was the choice of educated women to either work or stay at home.
Submission by Wife’s Counsel
Counsel for the wife sought for time to respond to the contentions of the petitioner with judgments and the Court, therefore, adjourned the hearing to next week.
- Maintenance under Section 125 CrPC is one of the biggest money minting machines for separated wives, which allows them to legally demand money for life, without consenting to divorce
- The maintenance is awarded to women, on mere application making several allegations against husband and his family
- The husbands are bound to pay even before single charge is proven against them
- Maintenance under Section 125 CrPC was introduced to prevent deserted wives from vagrancy
- However, today many women are voluntarily stepping out of their matrimonial homes, filing random unsubstantiated cases, and are getting the legal backing of monetary support for life
- Remember, this case has been on since 2013, and not a single charge has been proven
- Instead of encouraging the woman to work and fend for herself, the High Court has instead encouraged her to sit idle if she chooses to do so
- This is surely not how we empower women at the cost of husband’s misery
- Men need to speak up, before more and more lopsided laws are created in favour of women
"Its Her Choice To Work Or Not" | Bombay High Court Justifies Why Educated Wife Must Get Maintenance
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 13, 2022
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