Maintenance is legal right of a married woman

Special judge Sanjay Sharma dismissed an appeal against the order of the trial court which had asked the appellant to pay Rs 8,000 per month to his wife and two-year-old child. Appellant in his appeal had contended that the interim maintenance amount of Rs 8,000 as ordered by the trial court was excessive as he earned only Rs 7,000 per month out of which he pays a house rent of Rs 3,000.

However, the Delhi court while refusing to set aside the interim maintenance awarded to a woman and her child from her estranged husband in a domestic violence case, saying it is the “legal right of a married woman to claim maintenance from her husband” and court observed that, “given by ordinary requirements of a woman and a two- year-old child, and the present day soaring prices, Rs 4,000 per month towards interim maintenance to each of them, cannot be termed as excessive“.

Court observed that the husband had concealed his true income from the court and did not place on record the relevant material from which his true income could be assessed, and opined that, “in such facts and circumstances, the court has to do some guess work in order to assess monthly income of the husband. The magisterial court has rightly done some guess work in reaching a prima facie opinion that his monthly income would be around Rs 16,000-Rs 18,000 per month.

While dismissing the plea of appellant, Judge opined that, “it is the legal right of a married woman to claim maintenance from her husband. Right to maintenance arises from the status of the woman being a legally-wedded wife. It aimed to prevent vagrancy and destitution.” Further, court was of the opinion that, “a husband has no other liability but to maintain both wife and child and they are entitled to a decent living and ordinary comforts of life“.

The court dismissed his appeal with a cost of Rs 5,000 and asked the magisterial court to ensure that the cost of appeal is realised and is paid to his wife.