A qualified working woman should not require maintenance after divorce: Delhi High Court

Delhi Court

In a decision that will have a far-reaching affect on the ruling of divorce cases in India, the Delhi High Court denied the payment of alimony to a chartered accountant who was demanding maintenance from her ex-husband on the grounds that she is qualified and working.

“The appellant/wife, who is a qualified chartered accountant and has been in the profession since 2003, need not be granted interim maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act,” a bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani decided while rejecting her petition, as reported by TOI.

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The couple married in 2005 but divorced due to “differences” in a petition filed by the husband, an electrical engineer and business owner. The trial court had allowed a sum of Rs 22,900 as maintenance for the two children, but no alimony for the woman, citing her work profile as the reason. She then moved the high court and sought Rs 3 lakh as interim maintenance for her and the two children, with an additional Rs 1 lakh for the litigation process.

The wife claimed that her income from her job is only Rs 7,000, so it is difficult for her to run her household. But the HC said: “a well-qualified wife who is working as a CA since 2003, cannot be expected to earn only Rs 7,000 per month, which is below the minimum wages payable to an unskilled worker.”

The wife stated that her maintenance would include her house rent, household expenses, miscellaneous expenses, children’s tuition fees and transport charges. However, the trial court had said this was a “jugglery of accounts”.

Also read: Percentage of women judges in High Courts is only 10%

The High Court backed the trial court judgement, and the husband’s advocate assured the court and the woman that the children would get a good education and all other necessities, and that any increase in transport charges and tuition fees would be provided for.

Feature image credit: Daily Mail.

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