The Hyderabad High Court cancelled an order passed by a family court which allotted alimony to a woman, saying that she earned more than her husband.
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, the woman had approached the family court demanding that she be paid a maintenance of ₹10,000 every month. She told the court in her petition that her husband had started accusing her of infidelity only five days into their married life. She claimed he wanted to marry someone else for the dowry and had even instigated her to commit suicide.
The woman told the court that her husband was a lecturer and earned about ₹15,000 per month, in addition to owning landed property and other assets.
However, her husband denied this, saying that he was not permanently employed as he was only a guest lecturer and earned his living by giving tuitions. He also said that his former wife had lived with him for only 12 days and had not been in touch with him since then. He claimed she had been in love in with someone else and had married him under parental pressure.
The family court had guaranteed the woman ₹4,000 as monthly maintainence, an order which was quashed by the Hyderabad High Court. The HC said that the woman was employed, drawing a salary of ₹20,000 every month, and completely capable of looking after herself. The HC judge, however, noted that she could claim maintenance in the future in case there were any changes in her circumstances.
Courts usually take various factors into account while fixing the alimony amount and deal with the issue on a case-by-case basis. Many legal experts find the rulings unfair to women, observing that they reflect social biases, and say that alimony continues to be seen as a dole rather than an entitlement.
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