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A wife is not disentitled to maintenance if she is earning : Rajasthan High Court

The High Court of Rajasthan, through learned judge, Justice Pushpendra Sigh Bati in the case Neha Mathur & Anr. v. Dr. Arvind Kishore (S.B. Criminal Revision Petition No. 1345/2018) held that a wife is not disentitled to maintenance if she is earning

BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE: The petitioner- wife filed the petition to enhance  the amount of monthly maintenance, as awarded by the Family court to Rs.2,50,000/- (for wife) and Rs.1,30,000/- (for son). The Family court had earlier allowed the application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. preferred by the wife, while awarding a monthly maintenance to the wife and son, to the tune of Rs.50,000/- and Rs.20,000/- (totalling Rs.70,000/-). The husband had sought quashing and setting aside that order. The learned counsel of the respondent argued that the wife is earning Rs.85,000/- per month and staying at Hyderabad, and thus, competent to earn her own livelihood. Learned counsel also submitted that the wife deserted the husband of her own sweet and free will, and thus, she is not entitled for any kind of maintenance. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the wife submitted that the husband is taking the plea of desertion by the wife, merely to deny maintenance to her, as awarded by the Family Court.

JUDGEMENT: After hearing the contentions raised by both the parties, the court held that merely because the wife is earning would not dis-entitle her from the maintenance. The husband himself has taken the divorce  therefore, the charge of desertion cannot become a ground so as to enable the husband to disqualify the wife from claiming the amount of monthly maintenance, in any manner whatsoever.  The court remarked that the learned trial court, had rightly arrived at a considered decision and looking to the cost of living at Hyderabad and the fact that both the husband and wife were maintaining a very good lifestyle in USA, which is clearly apparent on the face of the record, it would be appropriate to dispose the present petitions, while enhancing the amount of monthly maintenance payable by the husband to the wife and son.  This Court remarked that a very reasonable capacity of the husband to pay the maintenance should be 1/12th of his income, which shall take care of the husband’s claim for high cost of living in the USA. The amount of monthly maintenance as awarded by the learned Family court , vide the impugned order to the wife and the son, was enhanced to Rs.75000/- (for wife) and Rs. 25000/- (for son). 

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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