Interim maintenance or as a matter of fact, several laws related to matrimonial disputes are highly subjective. On several occasions, while we see courts being extremely generous with wives who forge and lie to gain free income, there are some verdicts like the below where courts deal with such matters sternly.
A woman has been refused interim monthly maintenance from her estranged husband by a Delhi court. The court observed that the woman was well qualified and had sufficient means to support herself. The woman had demanded an interim maintenance of Rs 55,000 per month.
The court also noted that the woman had failed to approach court with clean hands by lying about her job and income. It added,
The petitioner cannot take advantage of her own wrongs.
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The wife claimed that within few months of marriage in 2016, her husband and in-laws started ill-treating her and also demanded dowry. She alleged of being driven out of her home and could only come back if she returned with Rs 5 Lakhs.
She pleaded that she had no source of income and was living off her parents’ money, while the husband was employed with a multinational firm, earning a handsome salary and not paying her a penny.
The husband’s counsel Imran Khan called the woman’s accusations false and frivolous. He submitted that the marriage had taken place as per Hindu rites and rituals and was a simple one without the demand of any dowry.
On the other hand, husband refuted the charges of abusing or mistreating his wife. He also alleged how it was her instead who had failed in her matrimonial obligations of being a faithful wife. Further the husband also added that the woman never cared for him.
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Talking about not being able to support herself, the husband accused her of hiding details about employment and income which were good enough to look after her needs.
The woman claimed in her affidavit that she had been working in 2017 with a salary of Rs 18,000 per month. However, in the current petition woman had declared herself as unemployed. The magistrate court had also rejected her claim to interim maintenance in a domestic violence case.
The court observed,
Petitioner before this court shows her occupation as unemployed and concealed the fact that she approached for getting maintenance from magisterial court under Domestic Violence Act where she mentioned that she had been working and earning Rs 18,000 a month… Petitioner has not approached the court with clean hands and suppressed material facts.
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The court further noted that the wife was holding a professional master’s degree and had an independent source of income going by her bank statement. It held,
Accordingly, interim maintenance application is dismissed.
- As mentioned in the beginning of the article, some courts reject maintenance while many overlook the perjury done by wife
- In the above scenario, the extent of greed by the woman is clearly visible
- Being highly qualified, the woman channelises her energy in filing false cases, but does not work towards becoming independent
- She herself claimed to earn Rs 18,000 per month, but the demand for maintenance is more than 3 times of her own earning
- The right to maintenance has become a tool for several women to present distorted cases and earn tax free monthly income
- While the court has rightly denied the wife any monetary relief in this case, they do need to go a step further and make such women pay up similar costs for misleading on facts
- Unless our legal system creates the fear of equal punishment or liability on women, there will remain no fright while filing several more frivolous cases in the future