Karnataka HC: Housewife is as Busy as Professional, its not Easy to Run House


May 03, 2018

Case name: Gaurav Raj Jain v. Shweta Jain


The antiquated saying that a housewife has all the time and is free and all the archaic deliberations and debates associated with the same have been put to rest by the Hon’ble Justice Raghvendra S. Chauhan of High Court of Karnataka, who while deciding a matrimonial case has succinctly stated that “That a housewife is as busy as a professional person.”

Brief Facts of the case: In this case, the Petitioner had challenged the Family Court’s order, whereby the Court had directed the Petitioner to pay for the travelling expenses of the respondent wife in the case.

In the case the Petitioner had instituted the divorce petition against the respondent. Since the wife was living in Uttar Pradesh, and divorce petition was filed by the petitioner in Bengaluru, the respondent moved a transfer application before the Apex Court. The Supreme Court while dismissing the transfer petition in the case observed that the wife could claim “requisite expenditure” for travelling to attend the case. On claiming expenditure later, the Family Court accordingly allowed her application.

SC: In Transfer Petition Court not to Determine Convenience of Petitioner Only

The Petitioner in the case contended that as the respondent is merely a housewife, she is free to travel by a train, rather than having to take a flight in order to attend the trial in Bengaluru.

The Karnataka High Court in the case made the following remarkable observations:

  • That the Supreme Court has used the words “requisite expenditure” when the wife is required to travel to attend the case. However, the Apex Court has not limited the “requisite expenditure” to merely to train travel.
  • That the contention raised by the Petitioner that merely because the respondent happens to be a housewife she is free to travel by train, the said contention is highly misplaced. For, the said plea terms the housewife as “free”. Such a contention merely shows the lack of understanding about the work being carried out by “the housewife.” It also reveals the lack of gender justice, where large number of persons continue to carry a misnomer that a housewife is “free”.
  • That a housewife is as busy as a professional person. After all, she is responsible for looking after the members of the family, and for running the house. To look after the members of the family, and to run the house is not an easy task.
  • That it is not for the petitioner to decide as to what mode of transportation the respondent should take in order to attend the hearing. Therefore, the offer made by the petitioner is clearly unacceptable. If the respondent decides to travel by air, and not by train, even then the petitioner cannot escape his liability to pay the “requisite traveling expenditure”.

In view of the aforesaid, the High Court of Karnataka dismissed the petition as being devoid of any merits.

The entire case can be accessed here.

Landmark Matrimonial and Divorce Judgments in 2017