'Woman falsely accused of infidelity can claim maintenance'
Madurai: Holding that character assassination
amounted to cruelty, Madras High Court Bench here has ruled a
woman living separately after being accused of infidelity by
her husband without evidence cannot be denied maintenance.
"Character assassination amounted to cruelty. A woman
living separately, after being accused of having illegal
intimacy with neighbours, cannot be denied maintenance stating
that such a separation was on her own accord and not
instigated by her husband," the court said.
Justice T.Sudanthiram said in his order yesterday that
levelling baseless charges of immoral conduct itself was a
sufficient reason to direct a person to pay maintenance
charges to his estranged wife even if he had denied
allegations of illtreatment, abuse and assault.
He was allowing a criminal revision petition by a woman of
Theni District against a lower court vedict dismissing her
claim for maintenance.
The petitioner submitted her wedding was held in 1981 and
they had four children. Her husband used to beat her up and
illtreat the children. He also suspected her fidelity, she
Unable to bear the torture, she moved to her mother's
place in 2006 and claimed maintenance.
Justice Sudanthiram said when the woman was accused by her
husband of having illegal intimacy with neighbours, the lower
court ought not to have dismissed her maintenance application.
Taking into consideration that the petitioner earned Rs
1,400 by working as housemaid and sweeper, the Judge ordered
she and her fourth daughter, residing with her, were entitled
to Rs.1,000 and Rs.1,500 respectively per month.