Wife is not entitled to maintenance, if living separately without any sufficient reason

High Court of Madhya Pradesh: While examining the revision petition filed by the applicant against the order passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Ratlam whereby it directed the applicant/husband to pay maintenance of Rs. 4000 per month to the non-applicant/wife from the date of order, the Bench comprising of Jarat Kumar Jain, J., held that the finding of the trial court that the non-applicant/wife has sufficient reason to live separately is not sustainable in law and since she is residing separately from applicant husband without any reason hence, she is not entitled for maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC .

The applicant husband moved the court submitting that the non-applicant/wife is not entitled for maintenance and the erroneous order passed by the trial court is liable to be set aside as the court gave a finding that applicant/husband earns Rs.50,000 per year and to pay Rs. 4000 per month to the non-applicant/wife, is against the evidence on record. The counsel for the husband submitted that the wife had left the matrimonial home voluntarily and is living in her parental home without any reason even though the applicant went to Ratlam to bring her back with him; however, she refused to come with him further, the non-applicant/wife being an advocate, had sufficient income to maintain herself and was not entitled to maintenance.

The Court on examining the findings of trial court as to whether non-applicant/wife has sufficient reason to live separately and whether she is unable to maintain herself observed, that since the non-applicant left matrimonial home voluntarily with her brother with a view to select a girl for his marriage and without lodging any report at the  Police Station or making any complaint to anybody even though she had a mobile phone and used to talk with her brother, but never made any complaint about her harassment to her brother therefore, it is practically impossible to believe that the non-applicant/wife could have been so harassed in 12 days and that it was impossible for her to live in her matrimonial home.

The Court relying on Savita Bai v. Prahlad , 2013 (3) MPWN 77, held that since the  non-applicant wife is unable to prove the prove the charge of harassment it cannot be held that she was forced to leave her matrimonial home. Therefore, as the non-applicant/wife is residing separately without any reason,  she is not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 CrPC. Thus, the Court set aside the order of the trial court and allowed the revision petition. [Anil v. Sunita, 2016 SCC OnLine MP 6368, decided on 11.11. 2016]

 

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