‘If Jobless, Work as Labourer to Support Wife’: Allahabad HC Dismisses Man’s Plea Against Maintenance Order


Reported By: Salil Tiwari

Last Updated: January 29, 2024, 17:17 IST

The court noted that although the wife had failed to produce any document related to the man's income, there was sufficient material on record to show that the man was healthy and capable of earning money. (News18 File)

The court noted that although the wife had failed to produce any document related to the man’s income, there was sufficient material on record to show that the man was healthy and capable of earning money. (News18 File)

“If he engaged himself in labour work also too then also he may earn as a un-skilled labour about Rs.350/- to Rs.400/- per day as a minimum wages (sic),” a single-judge bench comprising Justice Renu Agarwal said

The Allahabad High Court (HC) recently rejected a revision petition filed by a man challenging the Family Court’s order to pay maintenance to his estranged wife, emphasising his obligation to financially support his wife, even if he had no income.

“If he engaged himself in labour work also too then also he may earn as a un-skilled labour about Rs.350/- to Rs.400/- per day as a minimum wages (sic),” a single-judge bench comprising Justice Renu Agarwal said.

The man moved the HC against the Family Court’s order to pay Rs 2,000 per month to his estranged wife. During the proceedings, the court was apprised that the couple got married in 2015 without any dowry exchange. Initially, the wife spent only four days at her matrimonial home before returning to her parental residence. She later returned for a brief period of 10 days, but subsequently went back to her parental home and filed a complaint against the man in which he was summoned under sections 498-A, 323, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 3/4 D.P. Act.

The man submitted that despite his numerous attempts, the wife declined to return, compelling him to file a suit under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, seeking restitution of conjugal rights in 2016. During pendency of this application, the wife filed an application under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), seeking maintenance which was allowed by the Family Court.

The man argued that the Family Court overlooked the fact that the wife, a graduate and employed as a school teacher who was capable of maintaining herself, had left her in-laws’ house without a valid reason.

He stated that his sole source of income was his labour work, as he had no other means of earning. He mentioned that his family, comprising his father, mother, and two sisters, relied on income from agriculture.

Contrarily, the wife’s counsel claimed dowry-related abuse. He also claimed that the husband earned Rs 10,000 as a factory laborer, Rs 50,000 from his milk and milk products business, and also had income from agricultural land.

The HC noted that though the wife had failed to produce any document related to the man’s income, there was sufficient material on record to show that the man was healthy and capable of earning money.

“For the sake of argument, if the court presumed that revisionist has no income from his job or from rent of Maruti Van, even then revisionist is duty bound to provide maintenance to his wife, as is held Apex Court in the case of Anju Garg Vs. Deepak Kumar Garg, 2022 SC 805,” the bench said.

Accordingly, the court dismissed the man’s petition and asked the trial court concerned to take all coercive action against the man for the recovery of maintenance still unpaid.

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