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No Fear No Favour

Wife Can’t be A Parasite on Her Husband’s Income: Delhi Court 

Court’s in India has always given landmark judgments and give us a reason to sit and think about it. Either its constitutional law or criminal law or family law, the court has always surprised us with their decisions. In family law, a wife asking for maintenance has always been a topic of debate. There are a lot of reasons for giving her maintenance like, dependent on husband financially, not qualified enough to earn equal to her husband and the lifestyle she had during her marriage. There are different opinions of courts in this matter.

Recently, Delhi High Court is being in news by ordering a wife to earn for herself instead of being a parasite on her husband’s salary. This ruling was made when court sat for hearing a case of domestic violence. The plaintiff (wife) presented a petition for the increase of her alimony amount of Rs. 25,000 which was awarded to her in 2008 and also was increased in 2015 by 10% to Rs 5,000.


The plaintiff again wanted to increase her alimony but the Delhi High Court was not pleased with her request and turned it down.

The judge declined her request and noted that she is more qualified than her husband and therefore, more capable of earning. The judge said. “The appellant herself is a well-educated lady having a postgraduate degree: MA, B.Ed. and LLB, and is reported to be more qualified than the respondent (husband). She can earn herself. She is not supposed to sit idle at home and be a parasite on the earnings of the respondent,”

The court also noted that last time 2015 when she was awarded Rs. 5000 increase was taken into consideration the increased inflation in the country.

“The metropolitan magistrate has rightly observed that inflation rate varies between 6 and 11 percent in India as per government statics. Therefore, the enhancement of maintenance at 10 percent (of Rs 5,000) is fully justified last time,” the judge had observed.

But this time, the court refused it and said that wife could not justify the increasing of the amount. Although this case makes for an interesting case study for divorce between an educated couples, it also highlights the fact that educated women must try to be financially independent.

There have been many such cases in past where courts have told the wife to earn themselves instead of asking her husband to pay:

  • In March 2016, Delhi High Court ordered a woman to earn herself as she is fully qualified instead of asking alimony from her husband.
  • In March 2015, a Delhi court refused to grant alimony to a woman as it observed that she is capable of working herself as she used to before marriage.
  • In June 2015, a family court in Mumbai has rejected a woman’s maintenance application observing that she was highly qualified and was pursuing her MBA.

So, by these above precedents set by court, we can see the change in the attitude of the court in respect of giving alimony. It’s actually a good initiative taken by court and women should also be independent financially instead of being a burden on her husband.

By – Parul Kulshrestha

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