A healthy able bodied man cannot be relieved maintaining his wife merely on the ground that he is unemployed or has a very little income: Calcutta High Court.

A wife is to be maintained by her husband at the standard that she would have enjoyed had she been able to live in her husband’s household. A single Judge bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Jay Sengupta in the matter of Debi Kar Vs. Deb Kumar Kar and Anr. (C.R.R. 536 of 2019), dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed a revisional application challenging an order dated 10.08.2018 passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Barrackpore, North 24 Parganas under Section 125 of the Code, thereby granting interim maintenance to the tune of Rs.2,000/- to the petitioner/wife.

In the present case the despite the affidavit- of- service was filed by the petitioner, no one appeared on behalf of the private opposite party. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner was the wife of the opposite party no. 1 and was suffering from cancer. The counsel pointed that that from a very early stage of their marriage, the petitioner was tortured mentally and physically. The counsel also stated that the husband of the petitioner had developed illicit relation with other women while being married to the petitioner.

Further, the counsel submitted before the court that the husband of the petitioner was a Government licensed electrical contractor and earned more than Rs.90,000/- per month. Although, the petitioner claimed Rs.35,000/- per month towards her maintenance, a paltry sum of Rs.2,000/- was granted as interim maintenance, that too from the date of order. The counsel submitted that the petitioner being a cancer patient, such amount for maintenance was insufficient for her sustenance. The counsel submitted that the husband had shares valued at more than Rs.42 lakhs as of 31.12.2018 and also owned other immovable assets. The petitioner was on medication worth more than Rs.2,000/- per month. And thereby prayed the court to at least grant interim maintenance that is needed to be awarded so that the petitioner can sustain herself till the trial court fixes the final amount of maintenance after taking evidence. The court stated that– “the husband’s case was that he was not earning anything and was suffering from carcinoma. A bald assertion of no income cannot be of much significance.

Further, the court also observed that– “husband is an electrical contractor licensed by the Government and earns about Rs.90,000/- per month and the fact that the wife has been suffering from cancer and has to undergo regular treatment and medication are relevant factors to be taken into account”.

Thereby the court directed the husband to pay an interim maintenance amount of Rs. 10,000/- per month to the wife petitioner, payable from the date of the application, till disposal of the main application. The court also directed the trial court to conclude the proceeding as expeditiously as possible without granting any unnecessary adjournment to any of the parties, preferably within a period of six months from the next date of hearing. Thereby the court disposed of the revisional application.

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