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Shyamala Tuthuru   06 January 2021

can I file case for maintenance

I got married in the year 2019 some issues has risen for dowry.. he send me legal notice for divorce.... I filed 498A case... my husband does not do any job.. his father is a govt employee....can I claim maintanence by filing a maintenance case... if I can guide me how can I... please respond to this


 7 Replies

175B083 Mahesh P S   06 January 2021


If you could provide us with more facts we could assist you better, as under this scenario different factors will come into play. Are you employed currently? What's the educational qualification of your husband, also what’s your qualification. How financially sound is your husband, do you have children. All these factors will have bearing ultimately dictating this scenario.

Bombay High Court ruling 

In a significant ruling, the Bombay High Court has held that even if a husband is jobless, he is bound to maintain his wife and children and cannot cite his unemployment as an excuse for not paying the monthly maintenance. The HC said the earning capacity of a husband cannot be lost sight of and accordingly ordered a man to pay maintenance to his estranged wife.

Here are some situations wherein to the factors mentioned above had influence over the decision.

A single-judge bench of Justice Nitin Sambre pronounced the ruling while dismissing a plea filed by a husband challenging the orders of a Family Court of Pune, which had ordered him to pay monthly maintenance of Rs 10,000 each to his estranged wife and child.

The husband claimed that the Family court had already ordered him to pay Rs 15,000 to his wife and child, under provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act. “However, the court erred in ordering additional maintenance of Rs 10,000 each to my wife and child, under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,” the husband argued.

Further trying to convince Justice Sambre, the husband apprised the bench of the fact that he has left his job in Canada and has returned to India and is presently unemployed. He claimed that he would not be able to pay the additional maintenance owing to his unemployment.

Having heard the contentions, Justice Sambre noted, “As per the husband's educational qualification, he is a chemical engineer and has completed his MBA course. It is also required to be noted that while he was working in Canada, he was admittedly earning around Rs two lakh per month.”

“Even if the husband is not employed as on date, that is to say, he is not earning anything which is admitted by the wife, this court cannot be oblivious to earning capacity of the husband and his responsibility to maintain the wife and his child,” Justice Sambre ruled.

Delhi High Court Decision, 2010

Ruling that an unemployed husband cannot be asked to pay maintenance to his wife, the Delhi High Court on Friday set aside orders of a Metropolitan Magistrate and then by an Additional Sessions Judge asking a jobless man to pay maintenance of Rs. 5,000 per month to his estranged wife.

The Magistrate had allowed the plea by the wife for maintenance which was later upheld by the Sessions Judge. The High Court order came on a petition challenging the two orders by the husband, Sanjay Bhardwaj,

The couple had married in 2007 and, according to the husband, it lasted only for three weeks as he sought divorce accusing the wife and her family of hiding the fact from him that she was suffering from a chronic disease.

Before the marriage, the husband worked in a company in Angola. However, after the marriage he lost his job there as he could not join back his duty due to seizure of his passport by the police here. He could not manage a job here as well.

When Bhardwaj filed the divorce petition, the wife lodged an FIR against him under the Domestic Violence Act and Section 498A (subjecting a woman to cruelty for dowry) of the Indian Penal Code.

Setting aside the two orders, Justice S.N. Dhingra said that while passing the orders for maintenance the presiding judicial officers could not take into account the fact that Bhardwaj was without a job.

Justice Dhingra further noted that both the husband and the wife were equally qualified and had the potential to earn. The wife worked in a multi-national company before the marriage.

Observing that no court can tell a man to beg or borrow or steal to pay maintenance to his wife in case of estrangement, Justice Dhingra said: ``No law provides that a husband has to maintain his wife, living separately from him, irrespective of the fact that whether he earns or not.’’

The Magistrate and the Sessions Judge had rationalised their orders asking the husband to grant maintenance to his wife on the ground of his past `handsome income’ when he was in job.

Hyderabad High Court Decision, 2017

The Hyderabad High Court has ruled that an unemployed husband need not pay maintenance to his employed wife, setting aside the order of a family court in Andhra Pradesh.

The court in West Godavari district's Eluru, had ordered the husband to pay Rs. 4,000 as monthly maintenance to his wife. The wife was reported to be an employee of a state-owned hospital. 

After the family court's verdict, the husband moved the High Court.

The HC judge ruled in the man's favour, but added that the money already paid to the ex-wife was unrecoverable.

Hence it wont be downright right to say whether you will receive maintenance in this case without all the facts. We would be able to assist you better if you could provide is with all the facts.

Thank you





1 Like

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     06 January 2021

The better judge is your conscience and your counsel that has taken your 498 case.

Adv chirag Vajani (Advocate)     06 January 2021

I will support statement of Shri G.L.N. Prasad.

Very often we approach an advocate and when things never turn out as per our wishes, we start looking for second opinion or fight with our counsel or tend to change our advocate. One has to understand the role of advocate is not like magician. Merits of the case is of paramount importance!

SHIRISH PAWAR, 7738990900 (Advocate)     06 January 2021


You can file a maintenance case against your husband as he has neglected you to provide the necessities of life. You have to file some proof of income of your husband. If you are not able to file income proof then the court may pass minimum maintenance order or will not pass a maintenance order for you. 

Shyamala Tuthuru   06 January 2021

actually he is dependent on his father... his father use to fulfill the daily needs in the house husband has studied MBA and my qualification is BSC(Statistics)....and they has the property of 65 crores

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     07 January 2021

Originally posted by : Shyamala Tuthuru
actually he is dependent on his father... his father use to fulfill the daily needs in the house husband has studied MBA and my qualification is BSC(Statistics)....and they has the property of 65 crores

@ Shyamala Tuthuru,

Whether your husband is minor (as you have stated that "actually he is dependent on his father...") ??

Shyamala Tuthuru   07 January 2021

no he is major aged about 33years

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