Top 20 Maintenance Case Laws in Favour of Husband

Top 20 Maintenance Case Laws in Favour of Husband

1. Kumaresan v. Aswathi (2002),

the Madras High Court considered an important aspect: if the wife is working, the husband need not maintain her. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The husband (petitioner) filed a divorce petition under Section 13(i)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act.
    • The wife (respondent) filed two applications:
      1. To direct the petitioner to pay alimony pendente lite of Rs. 500/- per month.
      2. To order the petitioner to pay Rs. 5000/- towards litigation fees.
  • The Husband’s Argument:
    • The respondent was employed in Kadhi craft at a shopping center in Trichy, earning Rs. 4500/- per month.
    • The petitioner contended that he was not obligated to pay the requested amounts due to the respondent’s income.
  • Court’s View (Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955):
    • Maintenance pendente lite can be granted if the party lacks sufficient independent income.
    • Since the respondent had sufficient income, the court dismissed both her applications.
    • The case was remitted to the trial court for fresh disposal.

2. Manokaran @ Ramamoorthy v. M. Devaki (2002),

the husband (petitioner) filed for divorce under Section 13(1)(i)(a) and (b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The petitioner sought divorce.
    • The wife (respondent) filed an application for interim maintenance of Rs. 750/- per month and litigation expenses of Rs. 1500/-.
    • The Family Court granted the respondent’s request, considering that the petitioner worked at Senthil Auto garage, earning Rs. 2000/- per month.
  • Petitioner’s Argument:
    • The petitioner pointed out Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which frees the husband from liability to pay maintenance if the wife earns sufficient income.
    • The respondent worked at Raj T.V. and earned a salary of Rs. 4500/- per month.
  • Court’s Decision:
    • Since the respondent had an independent income, the petitioner was not bound to provide interim maintenance and litigation expenses.
    • The order of the Principal Family Court was dismissed by the High Court.

3. Vijay Kumar Vs. Harsh Lata Aggarwal (Decided on 10.09.2008, CM (M) ENo.539/2008, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi):

When both husband and wife have similar incomes and qualifications, there is no justification for granting interim maintenance to the wife.

4. Alok Kumar Jain v. Purnima Jain (2007),

the husband (petitioner) and wife (respondent) had two daughters born out of wedlock. Unfortunately, one of their daughters, Radhika, suffered from hearing impairment in both ears. To cover the expenses of her treatment, the petitioner left his job in India and relocated to Abu Dhabi in 2000. He received a terminal benefit of 27 lakh rupees from his former Indian employer, which was deposited into a joint bank account owned by both spouses.

However, the wife filed for divorce under Section 13(1)(i)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Subsequently, she sought maintenance under Section 24 of the Act, demanding 2 lakh rupees for herself and 11 lakh rupees for their daughter’s treatment. The husband argued that the wife had already withdrawn 56 lakh rupees from the joint account. He believed that she had sufficient funds to cover her expenses and maintain her standard of living.

The trial judge, without seeking an explanation from the wife regarding the investment of the 56 lakh rupees, ordered the husband to pay maintenance of 20,000/- rupees per month to the wife.

Challenging this order, the husband approached the High Court of Delhi. The husband’s bank account statements revealed that between 2001 and 2003, the wife spent 5,25,000/- rupees on household expenses. She also withdrew 6,12,000/- rupees for purchasing a car, a hearing aid for their daughter, and a computer. Additionally, investments in Fixed Deposits (FDs) and Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts were made in their daughters’ names, totaling 18 lakh rupees.

The High Court held that the trial judge should have sought an explanation for these expenditures and remanded the case back to the lower court for fresh adjudication. Consequently, the order directing the husband to pay maintenance of 20,000/- rupees was quashed.

5. Omar Abdullah Vs. Payal Abdullah & Ors. 2018 (1) JCC 632:

The Delhi High Court directed the trial court to first determine the maintainability of the wife’s petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C.
The court emphasized that the question of awarding interim maintenance is inseparable from whether the husband neglected or refused to provide maintenance and whether the wife is unable to support herself.

6. Nivya V M v. Shivaprasad M K (2017),

before the Kerala High Court, a woman was ordered to pay Rs. 6,000 as monthly maintenance to her husband. The reason behind this order was her false allegation of rape against him in the Family Court, which adversely affected his career.

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The petitioner (Nivya V M) and the respondent (Shivaprasad M K) married on January 31, 2011, with the marriage recorded at Enmakaje.
    • Their relationship became strained, leading to legal proceedings.
    • The petitioner filed for dissolution of marriage under Section 13(i)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, alleging cruelty by the respondent.
    • The respondent, working in a financial institution, was falsely accused of abduction and rape by the petitioner.
    • The respondent resigned due to the false news published in Malayala Manorama daily.
    • The petitioner also filed a complaint against the respondent under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
    • The respondent was unemployed and had health issues, while the petitioner was an Assistant Professor earning Rs. 50,000 per month.
  • Kerala High Court’s Observations:
    • Section 24 of the 1955 Act: Allows either spouse (husband or wife) to seek pendente lite maintenance and litigation fees if they lack sufficient income.
    • The court found the husband capable of raising funds for legal expenses.
    • The decision of the Family Court to award Rs. 6,000/- in pendente lite maintenance was unsustainable and likely to be overturned.

7. Manushree Vs. Sachin (Case No. 26/2016, Decided on 15.01.2019, ADJ Saket District Court, N. Delhi):

The court rejected the maintenance petition filed by the well-qualified wife.
It emphasized that courts should not allow themselves to be used for extortion, imposing a cost of Rs. One lakh on the woman. The proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C. was seen as an attempt to blackmail the husband.

8. Yashpal Singh Thakur v. Smt. Anjana Rajput (2001),

the Madhya Pradesh High Court addressed the revisional jurisdiction under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 invoked by the petitioner husband, Yashpal Singh Thakur. Let’s explore the details:

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The petitioner husband sought dissolution of his marriage with the non-applicant wife (Smt. Anjana Rajput) under Section 13(1)(i)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
    • The couple married in Jabalpur, India, on May 30, 1996, following Hindu rituals. They had a son named Prithvipal Singh.
    • The non-applicant wife worked as a Technical Assistant at the State Forest Research Institute in Jabalpur, earning Rs. 4725 per month.
    • The petitioner had previously worked as a private secretary in the Madhya Pradesh High Court from October 1995 to July 1997 but had quit on July 14, 1997.
    • Paternity was disputed, and the district court ordered a blood test, pending funds for blood grouping costs.
  • Maintenance Application and Objections:
    • During the proceedings, the petitioner filed an application for maintenance and litigation fees under Section 24 of the 1955 Act.
    • The non-applicant wife objected, claiming that the petitioner had resigned from High Court employment for a better opportunity in Delhi.
    • The trial court found the petitioner capable of obtaining private work and financially self-sufficient.
    • The non-applicant wife supported herself and their two-year-old child.
  • Court’s Observations:
    • The court noted that the petitioner had chosen a sedentary lifestyle without making efforts to earn.
    • Filing a claim under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, after deliberately incapacitating oneself, goes against the provision’s purpose.
    • The Trial Judge’s judgment was justified, and the contested order did not warrant intervention.

9. Mamta Jaiswal Vs. Rajesh Jaiswal, Madhya Pradesh High Court Civil Revision No.1290 of 1999 (Decided on 24.03.2000):

The Madhya Pradesh High Court emphasizes that well-qualified spouses who choose idleness over seeking a livelihood should be discouraged.The court holds that a lady involved in matrimonial litigation (such as divorce proceedings) cannot burden her husband with demands for pendente lite alimony during the case.Section 24 is not meant to create an army of idle individuals waiting for financial support from their spouses. Both parties must make sincere efforts to support themselves during litigation.

10. Shiv Kumar Yadav v. Smt. Santoshi Yadav (2004),

a revision petition was filed by the husband, Shiv Kumar. Let’s delve into the facts leading to this petition:

  • After their marriage, Shiv Kumar took his wife to their home in the village of Kanhera.
  • Allegations in the petition suggest that Shiv Kumar began harassing and subjecting his wife to cruelty.
  • The wife left the matrimonial house and sought refuge at her maternal grandfather’s home.
  • Subsequently, she filed an application under Section 125 of the CrPC for maintenance.
  • Her parents, who were laborers, couldn’t adequately support her, and she was unable to maintain herself.
  • In contrast, Shiv Kumar had an annual income of Rs. 20,000/- per month.
  • The Magistrate dismissed her application after she categorically stated that even if Shiv Kumar assured her against dowry demands and cruelty, she would not return home.
  • The Magistrate cited sub-section 4 of Section 125 CrPC, which states that maintenance cannot be granted if the wife voluntarily abstains from returning to the matrimonial home without sufficient reason.
  • The Additional Sessions Judge later reversed the order, but in the revision petition, the High Court of Chhattisgarh upheld the Judicial Magistrate’s decision. Shiv Kumar successfully proved that his wife was living separately without valid grounds, leading her to lose her claim to maintenance.

11. Lalit Mohan v. Tripta Devi (1988),

the Jammu & Kashmir High Court addressed the maintenance claim by a husband against his wife. Let’s delve into the details:

  • The trial court correctly concluded that the husband’s desertion and cruelty were proven based on the presented facts and the parties’ actions.
  • There was no illegality or jurisdictional error in the trial court’s decision and decree dissolving the marriage.
  • Sections 30 and 31 of the 1955 Act allow either party (wife or husband) to seek relief, including maintenance pendente lite and permanent alimony.
  • These provisions were enacted to ensure that spouses without independent income could support themselves during legal proceedings.
  • The court noted that after divorce or judicial separation, perpetual alimony or maintenance may be granted until the spouse’s death or remarriage.
  • If extramarital relations are proven, maintenance granted to the husband might be revoked.
  • In this specific case, the husband lacked independent income, and the respondent-wife was capable of providing support.
  • The court ordered the respondent-wife to pay Rs. 500/- as court expenses and Rs. 100/- per month as maintenance pendente lite and permanent alimony to the petitioner-husband from the date of application until his death or remarriage, whichever occurs first.

12. Smt. Kanchan v. Kamalendra (1992),

the Bombay High Court provided significant insights regarding maintenance for husbands. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The couple married on May 5, 1981, and had a child out of wedlock.
    • In 1985, the applicant-wife (Smt. Kanchan) filed for divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
    • The non-applicant-husband (Kamalendra) subsequently filed an application under Section 24 of the 1955 Act for maintenance at the rate of Rs. 600/- per month, along with litigation expenses.
    • Smt. Kanchan worked for the Collectorate, earning Rs. 2,000 per month (take-home pay of Rs. 1200/- after deductions). She also had to care for their ten-year-old child and cover schooling expenses.
    • Initially, the husband had a bookbinding business, but the bank seized his equipment due to debt. His father, who worked in the same industry, refused to help him.
  • Bombay High Court’s Observations:
    • Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 allows either spouse in proceedings to seek maintenance pendente-lite if they lack an independent income.
    • Both the wife and the husband are entitled to maintenance.
    • The husband intending to seek maintenance must prove his inability to earn and support the family due to physical or mental reasons.
    • The court noted that the husband was physically and emotionally healthy, capable of earning the minimum needed for family maintenance.
    • The husband couldn’t solely rely on the wife’s income. Granting maintenance to able-bodied individuals would promote laziness, contrary to the spirit of Section 24.
    • The trial court’s decision to grant maintenance lacked reason and cannot be upheld.

13. Kusum Bhatia Vs. Sagar Sethi (S.L.P. © No.16051/2017, Dated 16.09.2019, Supreme Court):

The Supreme Court declined to award maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (H.M.A) to a wife who was working and earning a sufficient salary. However, maintenance was awarded to the daughter

14. Gurbinder Singh v. Manjit Kaur (2010),

the parties were embroiled in divorce proceedings and other legal matters. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Mutual Settlement and Undertaking:
    • During the ongoing divorce proceedings, both the husband (petitioner) and wife (respondent) signed a mutual settlement.
    • The settlement included an undertaking that bound them not to interfere in each other’s personal affairs or disturb their parents or relatives.
    • It explicitly restricted any actions that could harm the other party’s character or reputation.
    • The respondent also declared that she would not take any action against their children, provided they were living with the petitioner at the time.
  • Application for Maintenance and Concealment:
    • In August 2004, the respondent filed an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. in the Jalandhar Court, seeking maintenance.
    • However, she concealed material facts from the court. She did not disclose that she worked as a teacher in a Jalandhar school.
    • Additionally, she had filed an affidavit in the High Court, promising not to harass her husband.
  • Court’s Finding and Contempt of Court:
    • The court found that the respondent filed the maintenance application solely to harass her husband, violating the mutual undertaking.
    • Her concealment of material facts and obtaining an ex parte order amounted to contempt of court.
    • As a result, she was liable to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000/-.
    • The husband was not required to pay maintenance to her.

15. Bhushan Kumar Meen Vs. Mansi Meen (SLP (Crl) 7924 of 2008, Supreme Court):

The Supreme Court reduced the maintenance amount from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 5,000/-, noting that the respondent wife is currently unemployed. However, considering her qualifications, the court expects her to be self-sufficient in the future.

16. Rani Sethi v. Sunil Sethi (2011),

the Delhi High Court addressed a petition challenging the order of the learned Additional District Judge, Delhi, dated February 24, 2009. Let’s explore the details:

  • Facts of the Case:
    • The parties’ marriage was solemnized on December 6, 1982. They have a son (26 years old) and a daughter (24 years old), born out of wedlock.
    • The parties began living apart in September 2006. After an intervention by friends and relatives, they briefly lived together in the marriage residence but separated again on September 6, 2008.
    • The respondent alleged that he was kicked out of the matrimonial residence, and only a handful of his belongings were returned to him in court on January 20, 2009.
  • Delhi High Court’s Observations:
    • Purpose of Section 24: The purpose of Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is to provide a fair sum to a spouse who lacks sufficient income for maintenance or legal expenses during proceedings.
    • The trial court appropriately evaluated relevant criteria, considering the circumstances and settled law.
    • The High Court found no flaw in the judgment dated February 24, 2009, and rejected the current petition under Article 227 of the Indian Constitution.
    • Consequently, the husband was eligible for prescribed maintenance from his wife.

17. Suman Bhasin Vs. Neeraj Bhasin (CC No.316/3/2007, Dated 27.05.2015, MM, Saket District Court):

The court imposed a cost of Rs. one lakh on the wife for filing a false Domestic Violence case against her husband and in-laws.The judgment highlights the misuse of Domestic Violence laws.

18. Hemlataben v. State (2010),

the petitioner (wife) had already initiated proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C., resulting in maintenance being granted for her son at Rs. 750/- per month. However, the petitioner herself was not awarded maintenance because she worked in a factory and earned Rs. 2500/- per month, which was deemed sufficient for her own upkeep.

Subsequently, the wife sought maintenance before the learned Magistrate under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (PWDV) Act, and her prayer was granted. The husband challenged this order, leading to its dismissal by the Additional Sessions Judge.

The petitioner then appealed to the Gujarat High Court, where Justice Akil Qureshi observed that the Magistrate could not have granted maintenance without strong reasons. The Additional Sessions Judge’s decision to set aside the Magistrate’s order was deemed appropriate. Consequently, the wife’s petition was dismissed by the High Court.

19. Rajnesh Vs. Neha & Anr (Crl) Appeal no.730 of 2020, Supreme Court of India (Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities Judgment):

The recent judgment by the Hon’ble Supreme Court outlines guidelines for maintenance cases across all Indian courts. Notably, it clarifies that husbands are not obligated to pay maintenance in every proceeding filed by their wives under different maintenance laws.

20. Damanreet Kaur Vs. Indermet Juneja & Anr. 2012 [4] JCC 2375:

If a wife resigns from employment, she may not be entitled to maintenance under the Domestic Violence Act.
The court considers whether the resignation was voluntary or forced and evaluates the reasons behind it during trial.

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