Recently, the Bombay High Court’s decision directing a woman teacher to pay alimony to her ‘indigent’ former husband went viral over the internet.
What’s the order said?
In an order passed on February 26 this year, Justice Bharati Dangre of the Aurangabad bench of the high court upheld the orders passed by the local court in Nanded (Maharashtra) in 2017 and 2019.
As per the order, the civil court has directed the teacher to pay interim monthly maintenance of Rs 3,000 to her ex-husband. The court has also asked the headmaster of her school to deduct Rs 5,000 from her salary every month and deposit the same with the court towards unpaid maintenance since August 2017.
What’s the history of the case?
As per the sources, the woman contested the lower court orders arguing that she had divorced her husband in 2015. Two years later, the man had approached the local court seeking permanent alimony. The woman’s lawyer argued that once a marriage had ended, neither party had a right to claim any maintenance or alimony.
What did the man’s counsel say?
The man’s counsel, however, argued that section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act did not provide for any restriction on the claim of maintenance or alimony in this way. Additionally, the man claimed that he suffered from some health issues that had rendered him unfit for work and he had no source of income. The woman had completed her education and become a teacher after their marriage, he said.
“In order to encourage the wife (petitioner woman) to obtain the degree, he had managed the household affairs, keeping aside his own ambition,” his plea said. Justice Dangre said sections 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act confer a right on the indigent spouse to claim maintenance and upheld the lower court’s order.