In general, maintenance is “support or subsistence.” No concept of “maintenance” exists in any religious community’s laws governing marriage. However, the right to request maintenance is based on the assumption that the claimant does not have the means to support themselves. ‘Maintenance’ typically pays for the costs of essentials or requirements for the stuff of life. However, it is not just a right to the claimant’s survival but also the capacity to work of either the husband or wife, their behaviour and other considerations will all be taken into account by the court when deciding how much maintenance should be paid.
This paper includes essential and notable cases in instances of maintenance favouring the husband.
(1) Govind Singh v. Smt. Vidya (1999):
In the case that was heard by the Rajasthan High Court, it proved that Govind Singh, the petitioner, had rendered himself incompetent by stopping to drive the contracted auto-rickshaw. No one should be allowed to become incapable, according to a well-established Anglo-Saxon legal maxim. This maxim remains true in the situation of a working husband. The Court noted that someone who intentionally rendered themselves incapable of earning would not be eligible to request maintenance from the other spouse. Therefore, the case put forwards the importance of judgements that favour husbands concerning maintenance.
(2) Shiv Kumar Yadav v. Smt. Santoshi Yadav (2004):
In this case, the court firmly states that, if the wife refuses to go back into the marital home and continues to live separately without a good reason, maintenance cannot be awarded. The order was overturned by the Additional Sessions Judge, but in the revision petition, the High Court of Chattisgarh determined that the Judicial Magistrate’s decision was correct because Shiv Kumar, the petitioner, had provided evidence that his wife, the respondent, had stopped claiming to be entitled to maintenance because she was living separately for no good reason. Therefore, in this case, since it has been established that the wife wants to live independently, maintenance need not be provided by the respondent.
(3)Smt. Mamta Jaiswal Vs Rajesh Jaiswal(2004):
In this case, the court stated, No maintenance for a capable, employed wife, in favour of the husband. Everyone must work to maintain themselves, or at the very least, must make honest attempts in that regard. If this standard is not followed and this mentality is not embraced, there will be an increasing inclination among these litigants to drag out their disputes and to exploit the fact that their opponent is a spouse—someone who was previously close to them but is now far away—after a dispute has arisen.
(4)Lalit Mohan v. Tripta Devi (1988):
Jammu & Kashmir High Court observed that the husband did not have a separate source of income and that the respondent-wife was able to provide support for the husband by Sections 30 and 31 of the 1955 Act Based on the respondent’s income and revenue from other properties, the petitioner’s earning capacity, and the parties’ behaviour, the court was persuaded that the petitioner was entitled to maintenance pendente lite, expenses of the procedures, and permanent alimony and maintenance. According to the facts and circumstances of the case, it was decided that the respondent-wife must pay the petitioner, the husband, Rs. 100 per month in maintenance pendente lite and permanent alimony from the date of the application until his death or remarriage, whichever occurs first, as well as Rs. 500 for court costs.
(5)Smt Kanchan v. Kamalendra (1992):
In this landmark case, the court had revealed, Both mentally and physically, my husband was in good health. He had an issue with a particular company, but he saw no harm in making the very minimum salary necessary to support his family. Therefore, it could not be presumed that he had no source of income just because his firm had collapsed and the court firmly observe the case in favour of the judgement.
(6)Yashpal Singh Thakur v. Smt Anjana Rajput (2001)
In the case of the husband (Yashpal Singh Thakur), Madhya Pradesh High Court stated that, Unmistakably, it was evident that the petitioner had chosen to lead a sedentary lifestyle and had made no attempt to earn the money he was capable of earning. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955’s Section 24 would not allow him to bring a claim if he were to become disabled. would violate the very intent of the law as mentioned earlier and the court further observed the case in support of the husband regarding maintenance.
(7) Alok Kumar Jain v. Purnima Jain (2007)
In this landmark case, the court concluded that the wife had sufficient funds to cover her costs and maintain her lifestyle. The learned judge ordered the husband to provide the wife maintenance for 20,000 rupees per month without asking the wife to explain the investment made with those 56 lakh rupees. This observation shows that the husband is no longer liable to pay maintenance.
(8) Rani Sethi v. Sunil Sethi (2011)
The Delhi High Court noted that Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is intended to provide a fair sum of money to the wife or husband who lacks an adequate source of income to cover their support or the costs of the procedures, striking an equitable balance between the parties. Further courts revealed that the husband was, therefore, eligible for the prescribed maintenance from his wife.
(9) Hemlataben v. State (2010):
The court firmly stated that the petitioner was not provided with any maintenance because she was employed in a factory and was able to support herself with her monthly salary of 2500/- rupees. According to the PWDV Act, the wife asked the learned Magistrate for maintenance, and he granted her request. The husband appealed the decision, and the Additional Sessions Judge threw out the Magistrate’s decision. And the court ruled to benefit the husband.
(10)Kumaresan v. Aswathi (2002):
In the case of Madras High court According to Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the sole prerequisite for the granting of maintenance pendente lite is that the party in question should not have a substantial independent source of income, the court adopted this interpretation. The applicant cannot be given maintenance pendente lite if it is determined that they have an adequate income.
Therefore, analyzing the important and famous landmark judgments helped in determining the circumstances while interpreting the maintenance clause under According to the particulars of a case, the Indian legal system specifies the maintenance that must be paid to the spouse, either the husband or the woman. The rules for maintenance after a marriage dissolves are included in personal laws like the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. According to statutes like the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Act, 1986, and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce), Act, 2019, maintenance is also awarded in Muslim personal laws. Another piece of legislation governing marriages, the Special Marriage Act of 1954, allows for the request of maintenance regardless of the religion or creed that either partner practises. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA), and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), in addition to the Personal laws, also have provisions for maintenance.
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