In a new landmark judgment on Monday, the Bombay High Court ruled that only those women without any permanent source of sufficient income, can claim maintenance from their husbands.
With this ruling, it has been apparently made clear that financially stable wives can not seek maintenance from their husbands post divorce or separation.
The judgment was awarded by a division bench comprising Justices Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani and P N Deshmukh while rejecting an application by Payal Sharma (61), an Andheri resident, who sought INR 15,000 as monthly maintenance from her Australia-based husband.
“It is a well-settled law that only a wife who has no sufficient permanent source of income can claim and get maintenance from her husband who has sufficient means,” said the judges.
The couple have a daughter and a son, both married and settled abroad. They have been living in separation since 2007.
The bench observed that Payal was earning over INR 37,500/ a month in interest from various sources and had more than INR 50 lakh in the bank. She was also in full possession of the flat that the couple purchased together. Apart from that, the court was made aware that her son was already providing money for her maintenance and various other expenses.
Earlier, a family court granted divorce to the couple and asked Ajay to spill out INR 25,000/ a month as maintenance to his ex-wife. However, the maintenance order was set aside by a single-bench of the HC. Following this, Payal filed an appeal seeking INR 15,000 a month as maintenance, leading to the current verdict.
(Names of the couple changed to protect identities)