In a recent judgement dated 06.01.2022, the Saket District Court has declared that a wife is entitled to maintenance from her husband even though they both live in the same house and have estranged connections. The Saket Court issued its decision while upholding a woman's request for temporary maintenance. The court further stated that in Indian society, an educated woman might not be allowed to work after marriage since she must care for her matrimonial home.
Additional Sessions Judge Monika Saroha was amazed and found it 'unbelievable' that the husband is neither paying any maintenance nor taking care of her necessities.
The woman had filed a complaint under section 12 of the Prevention of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDV Act), alleging that her spouse had tortured her. The husband vehemently disputed the allegations. The woman's interim maintenance was denied by the trial court because of her education, as it included Master's and Bachelor's degrees, and the court believed she was capable of taking care of herself.
At the same time, the Sessions Court disagreed with the lower court's position, stating that the woman has three children and had accused her husband and in-laws of domestic violence. She can't be denied maintenance just because she had done a BA and a B.Ed many years ago.
The husband never placed on record any material before the trial Court to show any earning of his wife since the date of marriage.
The woman said that once she married, her husband and in-laws forbade her from working.
The court also stated that simply because the husband was paying for the children's education, food, and other expenses, there was no assumption that he had to support his wife.
"Considering the admitted income of the respondent-husband in the present case, while the appellant (Wife) cannot be found entitled to any lavish life style, however, this does not mean that she is not entitled to even a single penny as her maintenance." - Monika Saroha J
The Saket sessions court underlined that the woman was still entitled to a maintenance amount for her daily needs like food, toiletries, groceries and clothing.