Should Deserting Wife Live On Husband’s Sweat?

Juy 15, 2023

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.” - Socrates

If Socrates was to comment on bad wives today, he would have substituted “philosopher” with “broke” or “bankrupt” or “pauper”. For deserting wives use their husbands as ATMs or Credit Cards. This is reflected in a recent judgment of the Karnataka High Court and excerpted below.

Wife employed earlier can't sit idle & seek full maintenance: Karnataka High Court

A wife who was previously employed is not supposed to sit idle and seek the entire maintenance amount from her husband, the Karnataka High Court has ruled in a recent judgment.

Rejecting a petition filed by a woman from Anekal town in Bengaluru Urban district, Justice Rajendra Badamikar observed that a wife who was employed previously is legally bound to make some efforts to meet the expenses for her livelihood and can seek only supportive maintenance from her (deserted) husband.

The woman and her now 11-year-old son had approached the magistrate's court in 2014, seeking maintenance by filing an application under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. The court directed the husband, who runs a provisions store, to pay Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance to the wife and another Rs 5,000 per month to their minor son. In addition, a compensation of Rs 3 lakh was awarded to the wife for the mental agony he had caused her.

Following an appeal by the husband, on November 7, 2015, a Sessions court reduced the monthly maintenance payable to the woman to Rs 5,000 and the compensation amount from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, while retaining the Rs 5,000 maintenance for the child.

Aggrieved by this order, the wife, along with her son, moved the High Court.

In her petition, the woman argued that the compensation awarded was meagre and the Sessions court, without any proper reasoning, had reduced the maintenance and the compensation. It was contended that both she and her minor son were incapable of maintaining themselves and hence the order passed by the magistrate should be restored.

After examining the materials on record, Justice Badamikar pointed out that before her marriage, the wife was employed. The wife had also admitted to staying with her mother in a rented house as she was not interested in staying with her mother-in-law and unmarried sister-in-law.

The High Court said the husband had the responsibility of his mother and unmarried sister. "Admittedly, the wife was working prior to her marriage and it is asserted that after marriage, she had resigned from her job. But there is no explanation as to why she is incapable of working now. She is not supposed to sit idle and seek the entire maintenance from her husband. She is legally bound to make some efforts to meet her livelihood and she can seek only supportive maintenance from her husband," Justice Badamikar declared.

The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response is welcome in the format given below (Pl scroll down a bit). Once again, Welcome to Reason.


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By John B Monteiro
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Comment on this article

  • Rita, Germany

    Wed, Jul 19 2023

    The judge is partly right and partly not.On what cause husband deserted wife?There is a difference between deserting and willingly going out of marriage life.Did wife went out willingly?When husband deserted then its his duty to pay aliments to son and wife.Seeking a job is not easy once she didnt work for a long time.She must see where and how she will manage the childs education and house hold.If husband is willing to take care of child till she finishes her work of course she can work.By they way is husband is ready to lookafter his duty as father ?He has a right to look after small child till becomes 18years old.He too cant abandon child like kachra.Only paying money and finish?Never.Or he must offer her a job as per her education or what she worked as before.Wife too has a right.Paying aliments doesnt mean its finish to pay money.Why he deserted her because wants to marry another?

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