Thursday, June 4, 2015

Misuse of Law by a Educationally well Qualifed to claim Alimony Deprecated!

The Mumbai family court has pulled up a highly qualified woman for seeking maintenance from her estranged husband.

The court, presided over by principal judge Dr Laxmi Rao, said that the woman was trying to take undue advantage of the law and using it as a shield against her husband.
Its six-page order, given out recently, said that women cannot sit idle and expect money from former partners.

The woman in question was highly qualified, had pursued her MBA, and was working with a private firm as a human resource personnel.

 In 2014, she approached the court seeking a permanent monthly alimony of Rs 25,000 and an equivalent amount of maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The woman claimed that she was forced to leave her job.

Her argument was that since she was not working and was dependent on her parents and her brother, she was bound to get maintenance.

Her husband, who was an engineer, earning a monthly salary of Rs 25,000, opposed her claim. He claimed that the woman deserted him in 2012, filed for divorce in 2013 and approached the court for maintenance in 2014.

For two years, she sat idle, despite being highly qualified, and this was not acceptable, he said.

The Court relied on a Madhya Pradesh High Court judgment in 2000, which had pulled up a woman, who, in spite of being efficient enough, had sought maintenance.

The Mumbai family court judge said: "According to me, Section 24 has been enacted for the purpose of providing monetary assistance to such spouse who is incapable of supporting himself or herself. If the spouse is well qualified, s/he is not expected to remain idle to squeeze out the other... The law does not expect the increasing number of such idle persons, who, by remaining in the arena of legal battles, try to squeeze out the adversary by implementing the provisions of law suitable to their purpose," the court said.

"A lady who is fighting matrimonial petition filed for divorce cannot be permitted to sit idle and put her burden on the husband for demanding pendentelite alimony from him during the pendency of such petition. Section 24 is not meant for creating an army of such idle persons who would be sitting idle waiting for a 'dole', to be awarded by her husband who has got a grievance against her and who has gone to the court seeking relief against her," concluded the order.


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