The Allahabad High Court in its order dated May 04, 2022 observed that a wife doesn’t lose her opportunity for grant of maintenance under Section 125 CrPC on the ground that she has sufficient means to maintain herself and her children as she got money after selling the property.
Parties have separated decades ago and the wife had been contesting her right to maintenance alleging that her husband stopped paying her after 1983.
Krishna Devi (wife/revisionist) had been married to one Rameshwar Dayal in June 1967. The couple had three children out of the wedlock.
Application of Maintenance by Estranged Wife
According to the wife, her husband had provided maintenance to her till 1983, but thereafter it was stopped by him. She further stated in the application that she was dependent on her brother Shailendra who used to provide financial assistance, but suddenly he had gone missing and the financial assistance was automatically stopped. Thus, she filed application of maintenance from her husband (with whom she had separated decades ago) citing no source of income.
The wife also stated that her husband had performed second marriage in the interim and thus she had been deserted.
Submissions by Husband
The husband appeared and filed his objection. In the objection he denied the fact that he ever misbehaved with his wife or harassed her. He further stated that the wife was involved with another man namely Ram Singh @ Manjeet Singh. He further stated that the nature of the revisionist is very obstinate and she had no adjustment with the family, which is why the relationship between them became sour.
The family court had rejected maintenance to the wife on the following grounds:
- No reason given by wife as to why she was living separately
- Wife had sold a property at Farrukhabad from which she had received money, thus she had sufficient means
- Wife did not inform court whether her children were literate or illiterate or how much they were educated, therefore, some adverse inferences were drawn by the court
- Infact, all the three children were settled by her; thus she was having means to sustain
- The husband had accused the wife of having an illicit affair, which was not denied by the wife
Allahabad High Court
The Bench of Justice Brij Raj Singh set aside the Family Court judgment which had rejected maintenance to the wife, and ordered the husband to pay at least Rs 10,000 as the monthly maintenance to his wife.
Wife’s Income From Property
With regards to the means and income of the wife, through a property sold by her, the High Court remarked,
The finding recorded by the court below appears to be perverse because if there was some property at Farrukhabad and money out of sold property was used for maintenance of the children as well as revisionist; it could not be inferred that the revisionist has lost her opportunity for grant of maintenance under Section 125 CrPC.
If some income was received by her out of the sold property, it does not mean that she would sustain throughout life.
The High Court rejected husband’s claim of wife living in adultery, citing that the same was not proved.
Further, referring to the November 2020 Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Rajnesh v. Neha and another, (2021) 2 SCC 324, the Court noted that the status of the husband and wife should be looked into while granting maintenance and even if the wife is working and has got some means of income, she is entitled to maintenance as per the status of the husband.
Setting aside 2016 Family Court judgement, the High Court said,
The court below has passed the order without appreciating the facts in totality. The observation appears to be influenced by factual aspects which were not proved and without adducing them on record. The application has been rejected without application of mind.
Since the income part and other relevant evidence have not been looked into, it is not appropriate to arrive at any conclusion at the moment for granting maintenance because quantum can be assessed only after recording the finding on financial assets and income of the husband.
The matter was sent back to the lower court to take a fresh decision within a period of four weeks.
- Maintenance laws, especially Section 125 CrPC, are a lifelong trap for husbands in India
- Despite parties being separated since 40-years, the court still holds the husband accountable to maintain his estranged wife for rest of her life – without divorce
- The court wants to award quantum of maintenance as per husband’s current lifestyle, despite no contribution of the woman whatsoever in last four decades
- This is not about Men’s Rights, this is about basic Human Right snatched from Men, by making them accountable, neither allowing them to move on by ending a bond which has been dead 40-years ago
- Women Rights Activists over the years have ensured absolute lopsided laws only and only in favour of Wives, and the Husbands today find themselves caged forever, at least legally
- As Modi government is amidst amending IPC, CrPC & Evidence Act, one shall have to wait and see if the centre amends matrimonial laws in line with today’s generation
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READ ORDER | Maintenance Cannot Be Rejected Even If Wife Has Sufficient Money After Selling Property: Allahabad HC— Voice For Men India (Previously Men's Day Out) (@voiceformenind) May 21, 2022
▪️Husband paid maint till 1983
▪️Later, wife's brother looked after her
▪️When brother disappeared, wife demanded maintenance from husbandhttps://t.co/q9dNXIYkiz
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