'Woman's ability to earn no ground to reduce maintenance'

'Woman's ability to earn no ground to reduce maintenance'

A woman’s capability to earn cannot be a ground to reduce maintenance granted to her by the husband during pendency of their matrimonial dispute, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Prafulla C Pant set aside a Karnataka High Court order, which reduced the maintenance amount to a woman and her son after finding that she was capable of earning.

“Merely because the woman is capable of earning is not, in our opinion, sufficient reason to reduce the maintenance awarded by the family court,” the bench said.

In the instant matter, the family court has directed for payment of Rs 25,000 to the woman and her son by the husband.

Acting on an appeal by the husband, the high court reduced the maintenance amount to Rs 12,000, after noting that the woman was capable of working. 

But the apex court said whether she is capable of earning or whether she is actually earning are two different requirements.

“We are not satisfied with the order passed by the high court considering the income of the respondent, husband, which we have been told is more than Rs 80,000 per month since he is a senior lecturer in a college.

“It is also stated by the learned counsel for the appellants that the respondent – husband – is also the owner of 26 acres of irrigated land,” the bench said.
DH News Service

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