HC denies interim maintenance to working wife

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Sep 12: A wife, who is a working professional, should be able to take care of herself, the Delhi High Court has said while denying maintenance to a woman chartered accountant from her estranged husband.

A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani observed this while rejecting recently the plea of the woman, who had challenged a trial court's order denying interim maintenance of Rs three lakh per month for herself and her two children.

Maintenance denied to working wife

The lower court had awarded Rs 22,900 per month as interim maintenance towards her two children but had declined to award her any monetary benefit, contending she was a chartered accountant with sufficient means to maintain herself. "So far as refusal to award interim maintenance to the appellant/wife is concerned, we concurred with the finding of the Judge of Family Court.

"The wife who is a qualified chartered accountant (CA) and has been in profession since the year 2003 need not be granted interim maintenance under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act," the court said. According to the woman's petition, the duo had got married in 2005 in Delhi and her husband, an electrical engineer, runs his own business. He filed for divorce owing to "differences". The wife, who works at AIIMS, had sought as maintenance Rs three lakh per month for herself and their two children, and also around one Rs lakh towards litigation expenses. The trial court had turned down her plea following which she moved the high court in appeal, contending that her income is only Rs 7,000 per month.

Her plea was dismissed by the high court, which observed she was "a qualified chartered accountant and practising since the year 2003. After putting in 13 years in profession she cannot be expected to earn only Rs 7,000 per month which is below the minimum wages payable to an unskilled worker."

The high court observed in its order that the husband, while appearing before it, "acknowledged his responsibility to support his children and did not question the maintenance awarded to them."

"He assures the court that he will ensure good education for his children and bear the additional burden in terms of increase in school fees, transport allowance etc. as and when necessity arises and is brought to his notice.

"He has only objected to award of maintenance to his wife who is a CA and to this extent we have also not granted any relief to her," the court said.


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