The Karnataka High Court recently quashed an order that denied delivery expenses to a woman from an estranged husband. Earlier the family court to which she had submitted an application had ruled saying, “It is her first delivery, it is the duty of the (woman’s) parents to bear the expenses as per customs in all communities.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The woman had submitted an application in the family court, seeking Rs 1, 50, 000 from her estranged husband on April 26, 2018.
  • The family court, however, rejected her application saying that it is her first delivery and it is hence, the responsibility of her parents to bear the expenses. 
  • The HC Judge Justice Alok Aradhe observed that there are no cogent reasons for rejecting the application of the woman.
  • The HC Judge also observed that the impugned order is cryptic and suffers from the vice of non-application of mind. Therefore, it cannot be sustained in the eyes of the law. 

The family court has not recorded any cogent reasons for rejecting the application filed by the petitioner but has only recorded the conclusions, seems to be based on personal knowledge of the presiding officer of the family court – Justice Alok Aradhe.

The Initial Order By Family Court Was Cryptic And Arbitrary

The woman had submitted an application in the court, seeking Rs 1,50,000 from her estranged husband on April 26, 2018. The court, however, rejected her application. The woman hence approached the high court, which set aside the order ruled on April 26, 2018.  According to the woman’s advocate, Advocate R Rashmi, “The impugned order is cryptic and arbitrary and also suffers from the vice of non-application of mind.”

The detailed court order read, “The family court has not recorded any cogent reasons for rejecting the application filed by the petitioner but has only recorded the conclusions, seems to be based on personal knowledge of the presiding officer of the family court. The impugned order is cryptic and suffers from the vice of non-application of mind. Therefore, it cannot be sustained in the eyes of law.”

Read More: Why Is Marriage Made To Be A Coveted Trophy For Women?

The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, entitles wives a basic right to reside in the matrimonial/marital household.

Legal Rights of married women in India which they should be aware of

As the number of cases of injustice with married women is on the rise, it is important for women to be aware of their legal rights. Here are some of them:

  • The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, entitles wives a basic right to reside in the matrimonial/marital household. The term matrimonial home refers to a household a woman shares with her husband. The house may be owned by the husband or his parents, a rented property or officially provided to him. Regardless, whether it is an ancestral one or a joint family house, a daughter-in-law is entitled to reside in it. Also, she has the right to live in her matrimonial residence even if her husband is not there or is dead.
  • Right To Streedhan – According to the Hindu Succession Law, Streedhan refers to the gifts a woman receives during pre-marriage or marriage ceremonies and during childbirth. This includes any movable, immovable property, jewellery, gifts, money and more (e.g. god bharai, baraat, mooh dikhai). The main objective of providing Streedhan to a married woman is to provide her some monetary safeguards after marriage.
  • A wife has the right to claim decent living standards and basic comforts of life from her husband. However, the benefits are subject to the husband’s living standards, income, and property. In case of ties souring, he has to provide basic maintenance facilities to his wife and children.
  • It is the duty of the husband and the wife to provide the required facilities to their minor child. In case the woman is not capable of earning a living, then it is the duty of the man to provide financial assistance.
  • A happy and successful married life cannot be led without a proper commitment from both partners equally. A married woman has the right to have a committed relationship unless a legal application for separation (divorce) has been filed. This implies that her husband cannot be in a relationship with another woman nor have an extra-marital affair.

Image credit: Live Law

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