Husbands go 'insolvent', live in 'penury' when wives seek maintenance, observes SC

The observation was made by the top court bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta.

Husbands go 'insolvent', live in 'penury' when wives seek maintenance, observes SC

New Delhi: When estranged wives ask for maintenance, husbands start saying they are living in penury or have gone insolvent, the Supreme Court has observed.

The observation was made by the apex court while asking a Hyderabad based doctor working in a reputed hospital not to leave the job just because his estranged wife was seeking maintenance.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta Monday refused to interfere with the order passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court directing the man to pay Rs 15,000 interim maintenance to his estranged wife.

"Tell us, in today's time is it possible to maintain a child in just Rs 15,000 per month. Nowadays, as soon as wives seek maintenance, husbands start saying they are living in penury or have gone insolvent. You don't leave the job just because your wife is seeking maintenance," the bench observed.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner husband said that the interim maintenance amount is excessive and the apex court should set aside the order of the high court.

To this, the bench said that the petitioner is a doctor at a reputed hospital and moreover it is just an interim order which does not require any interference.

The top court disposed of the petition.

On August 29 last year, the Andhra Pradesh High Court at Hyderabad had refused to interfere with the family court order directing the husband to pay Rs 15,000 interim maintenance till the pendency of the main petition.

The couple had married on August 16, 2013 and they have a child.

After the birth of the child, the couple had some differences and various proceedings were instituted against each other in the form of restitution of conjugal rights and custody of the child.

Domestic violence case was also instituted along with a plea seeking interim maintenance till the pendency of the main petition.

During the pendency of maintenance case, the wife had sought monthly interim maintenance of Rs 1.10 lakh for herself and the child claiming that her husband had a salary of Rs 80,000 per month and was getting rental income of Rs 2 lakh from his house and agriculture lands.

The family court after perusing the application and hearing the parties had awarded Rs 15,000 per month to the wife and the child till the pendency of the main petition.