Wife’s share in Husband’s salary: It’s 30 per cent – Maintenance not dependent on wife’s earnings, rules HC
The wife is entitled to 1/3rd of husband’s gross income as maintenance if there is no other dependent member, according to a ruling by the Delhi high court. The court has held that for calculating the amount of maintenance payable to the wife, husband’s gross income should be divided up into three parts – two parts for the husband and one for the wife if there is no other dependent. The high court’s ruling came while hearing a woman’s plea, which challenged an appellate court order dated August 25, 2018. The appellate court had denied maintenance to the wife on the ground that she was duly qualified, educated and gainfully employed.
The high court, however, ruled that granting maintenance under the Domestic Violence Act was not dependent upon the expression “unable to maintain herself”. Also, the expression “unable to maintain herself” does not mean capable of earning, IANS reported.
Announcing the ruling, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said, “In case there is a dispute as to whether the wife is gainfully employed, the court cannot assume, as has been done in this case by the appellate court, that because she is educated or was employed prior to her marriage, she would be gainfully employed.”
The court further said that whether the wife was actually earning or was qualified and capable of earning were two different things.
Earlier, the appellate court had set aside a trial court order dated June 26, 2018, which allowed interim maintenance of Rs 16,500 per month to the wife under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The couple had got married on February 14, 2015, but later, the wife alleged she was harassed and subjected to cruelty by her in-laws who were dissatisfied with the dowry offerings.
Now, the Delhi High Court has directed the husband to pay maintenance of Rs 16,500 per month to the wife from the date of filing the application. The husband has been given four weeks’ time to the entire arrears of maintenance
The high court observed that under Section 20(2) of the Act, monetary relief granted has to be adequate, fair and reasonable and consistent with the standard of living to which the aggrieved person was accustomed.