It is getting more common that working women (even if prior to filing maintenance application) are getting their applications for maintenance dismissed by courts. Below is a case where such maintenance application under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act (for maintenance pendente lite or interim maintenance) was denied.
The woman in question was highly qualified, had pursued her MBA, and was working with a private firm as a human resource personnel.
In 2014, she approached the court seeking a permanent monthly alimony of Rs 25,000 and an equivalent amount of maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The woman claimed that she was forced to leave her job.
Her argument was that since she was not working and was dependent on her parents and her brother, she was bound to get maintenance.
Her husband, who was an engineer, earning a monthly salary of Rs 25,000, opposed her claim. He claimed that the woman deserted him in 2012, filed for divorce in 2013 and approached the court for maintenance in 2014.
For two years, she sat idle, despite being highly qualified, and this was not acceptable, he said.
The court relied on a Madhya Pradesh high court judgment in 2000, which had pulled up a woman, who, in spite of being efficient enough, had sought maintenance.
The said Madhya Pradesh High court judgment of Mamta Jaiswal vs Rajesh Jaiswal should be made an anthem for denial of maintenance to parasitic wives. Though it is quite commonly cited in various maintenance denied judgments under HMA 24, it’s use for denying maintenance in DV (Domestic Violence) or CrPC 125 cases is still rare.
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