Madurai, Aug 8: Though a woman may be unwilling to live with her husband and desert him, that does not disqualify her from getting maintenance from her husband, Madras High Court ruled today.
"If the wife does not remarry and the person has obtained divorce on the ground of desertion and unwillingness to live with him, then the wife is entitled to alimony," Justice S Nagamuthu said.
The court stated this on an appeal by an astrologer who challenged a lower court order directing him to pay Rs 2,000 per month as alimony to his divorced wife, though he did so on the ground of desertion.
The judge said that as per CrPc, the wife would not be entitled to receive allowance from her husband if she was living in adultery or without any sufficient reason she refused to live with her husband or if they were living seperately by mutual consent.
Besides, a divorcee and one who had obtained divorce from her husband but had not remarried any other person was a "wife" as per rules, the judge said.
The woman said the lady who had been divorced by her husband and did not remarry should be viewed distinctively. A woman, after divorce, becomes a destitute if she cannot maintain herself or remained unmarried.
Hence, the man who was her husband was duty-bound to give maintenance,the judge said. The judge did not agree with the lower court's decision to fix the income of the husband at Rs 10,000 a month and said it would be reasonable if the astrologer was ordered to pay Rs 1,000 a month.