MUMBAI: A family court has observed that a well-qualified woman cannot claim maintenance from her husband. “The wife who is well-qualified and claiming maintenance by sitting idle is not entitled to get maintenance. The wife is not entitled to advantage of her own wrong, she cannot harass the husband on the count of maintenance though she is capable to earn,” the court said while dismissing a dietician’s plea to seek a monthly maintenance of Rs 2 lakh from her divorced husband.
In the petition filed in 2013, the woman alleged that throughout their marriage, the husband and his family members had ill-treated her and harassed her both physically and mentally for bringing less dowry. She further alleged that they demanded Rs 50 lakh as dowry, gold and a luxury car from her parents.
The woman claimed that due to this, she was forced to live separately from April 2011 and had to move in with her parents. She also said that she had no source of income and is totally dependent on her parents.
The woman said that the man is a successful businessman and the family’s business was also operational in Dubai. “They are running their business jointly and earning an income of more than Rs 15 lakh per month,” the woman claimed.
The man alleged that the woman was not entitled to get maintenance as she is not his legally wedded wife. “The marriage between the petitioner (woman) and the respondent was dissolved by way of talaq on September 7, 2014. Secondly, the petitioner is well-qualified, having good experience and good income, therefore, she is not entitled for grant of maintenance,” the man said in his reply. He claimed that her income was not less than Rs 50,000 per month.
The court refuted the man’s first argument and said that a Muslim woman who has obtained divorce is entitled to get maintenance till her remarriage. “In such circumstances, the story brought by respondent that talaq took place between them does not affect the right of petitioner to claim maintenance,” the court said.
The court, however, pointed out that the woman admitted that she has completed degree and post-graduation in food and science nutrition, worked in top notch companies but is presently not working. “The above statement made by the petitioner clearly shows that she is well-qualified and able to do job,” the court said.