Expecting wife to earn is against Hindu philosophy: Madras High Court bench
Justice P. Devadass made the observation while dismissing a criminal revision petition filed by a postman against an order passed by the Family Court here on November 5 directing him to pay maintenance at the rate of Rs.5,000 each to his estranged wife and two-year-old daughter.
The revision petitioner had challenged the order to pay maintenance on several grounds and one of them was that his wife was employed in a shop here and was earning sufficient money to maintain herself.
Refusing to accept his contention, the judge said: “There is no evidence to establish that she is employed. Even otherwise, it is immaterial because under Hindu Law a husband should maintain his wife. A Hindu husband will not say that his wife must go to work and get herself maintained.
“Nowhere a Hindu husband while marrying a lady will say: I will marry you provided you must work and earn and feed yourself. It would be against Hindu philosophy.”
Pointing out that the petitioner was a Central government employee earning about Rs. 23,000 a month, the judge said government employees could not be heard to raise the plea of earning less since their salaries keep rising year after year apart from revision of Dearness Allowance once in six months.
“Now in Madurai, Rs. 5,000 per month will not be a fabulous amount for a woman and a child to meet their expenses towards a roof, food, clothing and additional nourishment for the child. It would be sufficient only for a hand-to-mouth existence. This amount is what is required [as] bare minimum…” he added. On the petitioner’s contention that he had an aged mother, widowed sister and her children also to take care of, the judge said that it could not be a justification to pay less to the wife and child when the petitioner’s brother was sharing the burden of maintaining their mother.