No Maintenance to Able Bodied Educated Women:
As per newspaper report (Times of India, 14.05.2009), the District Court in Delhi Refused maintenance to a wife who was found able bodied and educated. Justice Rajendra Shastri said,
“An able bodied person expected to maintain himself and family members depended on him. The same is equally applicable to his wife. In an advanced society like ours, a woman who is young, healthy and well versed cannot afford to sit idle, particularly when facing difficult circumstances, as the applicant in this case.” Unquote.
The judgment is also took into consideration the applicant wife conduct like elopement of wife with his lover, abandonment of minor child and health of the husband. Nevertheless, the judgment is a step towards making maintenance laws, what it is.
Maintenance is not a bounty. It is not a birth right of a wife. It cannot be claimed as a matter of right. It is for a women, who cannot maintain herself & who has done the duties of a pious wife, to claim from her husband. Any women who has not done the duty of a pious wife, must not be entitled to claim maintenance from her husband. The other point is “ability to maintain herself”. A young healthy women, who is educated (even when not educated, can work as maid- many uneducated women are maintaining themselves that way) cannot be classified to be not able to maintain herself. The test is , whether a women of applicants ability is able to maintain themselves in the society or not- if yes, no maintenance- if no, there is a case for maintenance.
Maintenance laws needs to be applied strictly and in rare circumstances. It is usurpation of fruits of labour of a man in the guise of gender biased welfare laws. Such usurpation cannot be allowed to be made in a routine manner.
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