The Kerala high court on Tuesday rejected a lower court's order asking a woman to pay maintenance to her estranged husband saying that it would promote laziness among husbands who want to live-off their wives' income despite being capable of earning and supporting themselves, reports Times of India.
The 24-year-old from woman Nellikunnu in Kasargod had filed a petition in the high court against a lower court's order to pay maintenance of Rs 6,000 per month to the 36-year-old husband who is jobless and suffering from hypertension.
The high court, in its judgement, said, "If such an attitude has been taken by the courts, then idleness of husbands will be promoted and they will be tempted not to do any work and depend on the wife for their livelihood, and such thing is not expected to be promoted in the society."
The court further clarified that a husband is ideally obligated to maintain the wife and cannot be exonerated from the same unless he proves that he is permanently incapable of getting any income while it is only in exceptional cases that a wife must be asked to sustain the husband.
There have also been several cases in the recent past where courts, instead of going the conventional way, have told the wife to pay maintenance to the husband. There are also cases where courts have denied maintenance to the wife if she is capable of earning or was employed in the past.
The law that allows husbands to seek maintenance from their wives
Husbands can only seek maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
According to section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, a family court can order the husband or the wife to pay the maintenance and litigation expenses during the coarse of the divorce proceedings if either of them has no independent income.
So, under this section, even the husband can seek maintenance from his wife in the pending divorce proceedings. The only pre-requisite is that he should lack the capacity and capability to maintain himself as opposed to his wife who is earning much more than him.