Even if a woman is employed and her husband has got the custody of the two children, he is not free from paying maintenance to the wife, observed the Bombay high court. A division bench of justice NH Patil and justice AR Joshi rejected the contention raised by a husband and increased the maintenance from Rs500 per month to Rs1500 per month. The court was hearing an appeal filed by the wife, now in Pune, challenging the order of the family court granting her a maintenance of Rs500 per month.
Hitesh*, who was serving in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, and Namita* married in May 1980 and were residents of Ahmednagar. They have two sons. After their relatiosnhip soured, Namita left for her parents house in Pune in 1993. Namita alleged before the family court that Hitesh and his family were harassing her for dowry. She also said that Hitesh would abuse and ill-treat her under the influence of liquor. She claimed that she had no source of income.
On the other hand, Hitesh alleged that Namita wasn’t taking care of his extended family and insisted that he hand over his entire salary to her. Also, she even visited his office and quarreled with him.
Hitesh stated that Namita was in the business of selling saris and also conducts tuition classes and hence, she should not be entitled to any maintenance. Increasing the maintenance amount, the judges observed: “Considering the background of the matter, the antecedents, and the cost of living, which has grown gradually these years, the amount of maintenance ought to have been more than what was granted by the family court.”
*Names changed to protect identity