While dismissing an appeal filed against a family court order, Allahabad High Court noted that an able-bodied husband cannot argue that he is not in a position to maintain his wife.
The two-judge bench comprising Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Om Prakash Shukla was hearing an appeal filed by a husband against a family court order.
The family court had announced an order under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act in a proceeding for divorce instituted by the husband.
Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides for the maintenance pendente lite, where the court may direct the respondent to pay for the expenses of the legal proceedings and also pay a reasonable monthly amount considering the income of both parties.
In the instant case, the family court directed the husband to pay Rs 3,000 monthly interim maintenance in addition to Rs 5,000 towards the cost of the proceeding.
The husband submitted that he is unemployed and has no source of income. He added that the wife has an independent source of income as she works at a medical store with her father who is a doctor.
The bench observed that merely because the respondent-wife is educated and is doing some work to survive since she has been thrown out of her matrimonial home cannot be a reason to deny interim maintenance to her.
“An able-bodied husband cannot argue that he is not in a position to maintain his wife. It is social, legal and morale responsibility of a man to maintain his wife and no exception to the same can be taken by us, in view of bald assertions of the appellant,” the bench noted.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgment in Rajnesh vs. Neha 2021 (2) SCC 324, the court found no ground in the appeal and dismissed it on the admission stage itself.