HC directs woman to pay maintenance to ex-husband unable to earn due to ailments

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed a working woman to pay monthly maintenance of Rs 10,000 to her former husband who is unable to earn due to his ailments.


A single bench of Justice Sharmila Deshmukh in the order of April 2 noted that the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act uses the term 'spouse' and this would include both husband and wife.

"The provisions of Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act uses the term 'spouse' and this would include the husband or the wife who is unable to maintain himself/herself," the HC said.

The high court in its order noted that the woman has not disputed the fact that her former husband was not in a position to earn a living due to his medical ailments.


"As the husband is unable to maintain himself, the wife who has a source of income, is liable to pay interim maintenance," the high court said.

The bench dismissed the petition filed by the woman challenging a March 2020 order passed by a civil court directing her to pay Rs 10,000 monthly maintenance to her former husband.

The family court had, while granting divorce to the couple, allowed the application filed by the man seeking monthly maintenance from his ex-wife.


The man had claimed that due to certain medical ailments, he was unable to work and hence he was entitled to maintenance from his ex-wife who was employed as a bank manager.

The woman in her plea in the HC said she was not in a position financially to pay maintenance as she already had the liability of repayment of a home loan as well as maintenance of their minor child.

The woman further claimed that in 2019, she had resigned from her job and at the time (when the lower court passed its order) had no source of income.


The high court, however, noted that if this was the case then it was necessary for the woman to have disclosed how she was looking after the expenses of herself and her child without a job.

Justice Deshmukh noted that at present the woman has not disputed the fact that she is earning.

The man opposed the plea and said the woman had not submitted any documentary evidence to show that she was without a job. He claimed that due to medical ailments he was not in a position to earn and sustain himself.