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Graduate woman has all the right to stay at home: Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court on Saturday ruled that a graduate woman cannot be compelled to go outside and work.

It was purely the woman’s decision, whether she prefers to work or stay at home, observed Justice Bharati Dangre.

The order was passed on a revision application filed by the husband of a woman, challenging an order of the family court in Pune, which directed him to pay maintenance to his wife, who according to him, was earning a steady income.

The High Court said the Indian society was yet to accept that the woman of the household should contribute (towards finances).

Just because she is a graduate, does not mean she cannot sit at home, it added.

The Counsel of the husband, Advocate Abhijit Sarwate submitted that the family court unfairly directed the husband to pay maintenance, despite the wife having a job.

As per the case details, the husband and wife got married in 2010. The woman, along with their daughter, began living separately in 2013.

The woman initiated proceedings under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act against her husband and his family in April, 2013. She then filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights in 2014. Proceedings were also initiated under Section 498A (cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code.

While the proceedings under the DV Act were pending, the wife filed for maintenance before a family court under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The Judge directed the husband to pay Rs 5,000 per month to the wife and Rs 7,000 separately towards maintenance of the child.

This order was challenged by the husband in the present petition filed through Advocate Ajinkya Udane.

As per the husband’s petition, he did not have any resources or money left to fight the continuous proceedings being filed by his wife.

He further said that his wife had falsely claimed that she did not have a source of income, when in fact, she was a salaried employee.

The Counsel for the woman sought time to respond to the contentions of the petitioner with judgements. The Court adjourned the hearing to next week.

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