‘No maintenance for wife who earns from investments’
Shibu Thomas TNN
Mumbai: Only a wife with no sufficient source of permanent income can claim maintenance from her husband, the Bombay high court has ruled. A division bench of Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani and Justice P N Deshmukh rejected an application by an Andheri resident, Sheela Sharma (61), who had sought Rs 15,000 as monthly maintenance from her husband, Nitin Sharma, who is based in Australia.
“It is a well-settled law that only a wife who has no sufficient permanent source of income can claim and get maintenance from her husband who has sufficient means,” said the judges. The Sharmas have a son and daughter who are married and settled abroad. The couple has been living separately since 2007.
The court pointed out that it had come in evidence that Sheela had invested Rs 50 lakh in fixed deposits and also made investments in mutual funds. She has also invested another Rs 2 lakh that she got from Nitin in a fixed deposit. She resides in a flat that she had bought with Nitin, who said she had exclusive possession of the house. This meant there was no rent to be paid. “It is seen that the wife is gettingover Rs 37,500 per month as interest. She has over Rs 50 lakh in the bank. In addition, (her) son is providing money for her maintenance and other expenses. No one is dependent,” said the judges.
Nitin had moved the court for divorce on the grounds of cruelty, which was dismissed by a family court. Meanwhile, Sheela too moved the court. The family court allowed her plea and granted the couple judicial separation and asked Nitin to pay Rs 25,000 as monthly maintenance. Nitin challenged the maintenance order and a single bench of the HC set it aside. Sheela then challenged the order and sought Rs 15,000 as maintenance.
(Names of the couple changed to protect identities)
Source::: The Times of India, 24-02-2014, p.5, http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIM/2014/02/24&PageLabel=5&EntityId=Ar00501&ViewMode=HTML