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Well qualified wife is not entitled to Maintenance who remain idle

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Smt. Mamta Jaiswal vs Rajesh Jaiswal on 24/3/2000


J.G. Chitre, J.

1. Heard.

The petitioner Mamta Jaiswal has acquired qualification as M.Sc., M.C., M.Ed. and was working in Gulamnabi Azad College of Education, Pusad,   Dist. Yeotmal (MHS). The husband Rajesh Jaiswal is sub-engineer serving   in Pithampur factory. The order which is under challenge by itself   shows that Mamta Jaiswal, the wife was earning Rs. 4000/- as salary   when she was in service in the year 1994. The husband Rajesh Jaiswal is   getting salary of Rs. 5852/-. The matrimonial Court awarded alimony of   Rs. 800/- to Mamta Jaiswal per month as pendente lite alimony Rs. 400/-   per month has been awarded to their daughter Ku. Diksha Jaiswal.   Expenses necessary for litigation has been awarded to the tune of Rs.   1500/-. The matrimonial Court has directed Rajesh Jaiswal to pay   travelling expenses to Mamta Jaiswal whenever she attends Court for   hearing of the matrimonial petition pending between them. Matrimonial   petition has been filed by husband Rajesh Jaiswal for getting divorce   from Mamta Jaiswal on the ground of cruelty. This revision petition   arises on account of rejection of the prayer made by Mamta Jaiswal when   she prayed that she be awarded the travelling expenses of one adult   attendant who is to come with her for attending matrimonial Court.

2. Shri S.K. Nigam, pointed out that the petition is mixed natured   because if at all it is touching provisions of Section 26 of Hindu   Marriage Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as Act for convenience)   then that has to be filed within a month. Shri Mev clarified that it is   a revision petition mainly meant for challenging pendente lite alimony   payable by the husband in view of Section 24 of the Act. He pointed out   the calculations of days in obtaining the certified copies of the   impugned order. In view of that, it is hereby declared that this   revision petition is within limitation, entertainable, keeping in view   the spirit of the Act and Section 24 of it.

3. A wife is entitled to get pendente lite alimony from the husband in   view of provisions of Section 24 of the Act if she happens to be a   person who has no independent income sufficient for her to support and   to make necessary expenses of the proceedings. The present petitioner,   the wife, Mamta Jaiswal has made a prayer that she should be paid   travelling expenses of one adult member of her family who would be   coming to matrimonial Court at Indore as her attendant. Therefore, the   question arises firstly, whether a woman having such qualifications and   once upon a time sufficient income is entitled to claim pendente lite   alimony from her husband in a matrimonial petition which has been filed   against her for divorce on the ground of cruelty. Secondly, whether   such a woman is entitled to get the expenses reimbursed from her   husband if she brings one adult attendant alongwith her for attending   the matrimonial Court from the place where she resides or a distant   place.

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4. In the present case there has been debate between the spouses about   their respective income. The husband Rajesh has averred that Mamta is   still serving and earning a salary which is sufficient enough to allow   her to support herself. Wife Mamta is contending that she is not in   service presently. Wife Mamta is contending that Rajesh, the husband is   having salary of Rs. 5852/- per month. Husband Rajesh is contending   that Rs. 2067/- out his salary, are deducted towards instalment of   repayment of house loan. He has contended that Rs. 1000/- are spent in   his to and fro transport from Indore to Pithampur. He has also detailed   by contending that Rs. 200/- are being spent for the medicines for his   ailing father. And, lastly, he has contended that by taking into   consideration these deductions a meagre amount remains avialable for   his expenditure.

5. It has been submitted that Mamta Jaiswal was getting Rs. 2000/- as   salary in the year 1994 and she has been removed from the job of   lecturer. No further details are available at this stage. Thus, the   point is in an arena of counter allegations of these fighting spouses   who are eager to peck each other.

6. In view of this, the question arises as to in what way Section 24 of   the Act has to be interpreted. Whether a spouse who has capacity of   earning but chooses to remain idle, should be permitted to saddle other   spouse with his or her expenditure ? Whether such spouse should be   permitted to get pendente life alimony at higher rate from other spouse   in such condition ? According to me, Section 24 has been enacted for   the purpose of providing a monetary assistance to such spouse who is   incapable of supporting himself or herself in spite of sincere efforts   made by him or herself. A spouse who is well qualified to get the   service immediately with less efforts is not expected to remain idle to   squeeze out, to milk out the other spouse by relieving him of his or   her own purse by a cut in the nature of pendente life alimony. The law   does not expect the increasing number of such idle persons who by   remaining in the arena of legal battles, try to squeeze out the   adversory by implementing the provisions of law suitable to their   purpose. In the present case Mamta Jaiswal is a well qualified woman   possessing qualification like M. Sc. M.C. M.Ed. Till 1994 she was   serving in Gulamnabi Azad Education College. It impliedly means that   she was possessing sufficient experience. How such a lady can remain   without service ? It really puts a big question which is to be answered   by Mamta Jaiswal with sufficient congent and believable evidence by   proving that in spite of sufficient efforts made by her, she was not   able to get service and, therefore, she is unable to support herself. A   lady who is fighting matrimonial petition filed for divorce, can not be   permitted to sit idle and to put her burden on the husband for   demanding pendente lite alimony from him during pendency of such   matrimonial petition. Section 24 is not meant for creating an army of   such idle persons who would be sitting idle waiting for a ‘dole’ to be   awarded by her husband who has got a grievance against her and who has   gone to the Court for seeking a relief against her. The case may be   vice-versa also. If a husband well qualified, sufficient enough to   earn, sits idle and puts his burden on the wife and waits for a ‘dole’   to be awarded by remaining entangled in litigation. That is also not   permissible. The law does not help indolents as well idles so also does   not want an army of self made lazy idles. Everyone has to earn for the   purpose of maintenance of himself or herself, atleast, has to make   sincere efforts in that direction. If this criteria is not applied, if   this attitude is not adopted, there would be a tendency growing amongst   such litigants to prolong such litigation and to milk out the adversory   who happens to be a spouse, once dear but far away after an emerging of   litigation. If such army is permitted to remain in existence, there   would be no sincere efforts of amicable settlements because the lazy   spouse would be very happy to fight and frustrate the efforts of   amicable settlement because he would be reaping the money in the nature   of pendente lite alimony, and would prefer to be happy in remaining   idle and not bothering himself or herself for any activity to support   and maintain himself or herself. That can not he treated to he aim,   goal of Section 24. It is indirectly against healthyness of the   society. It has enacted for needy persons who in spite of sincere   efforts and sufficient efforts arc unable to support and maintain   themselves and arc required to fight out the litigation jeopardising   their hard earned income by toiling working hours.

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7. In the present case, wife Mamta Jaiswal, has been awarded Rs.   800/-per month as pendente lite alimony and has been awarded the relief   of being reimbursed from husband whenever she makes a trip to Indore   from Pusad, Dist. Yeotmal for attending matrimonial Court for date of   hearing. She is well qualified woman once upon time obviously serving   as lecturer in Education College. How she can be equated with a   gullible woman of village ? Needless to point out that a woman who is   educated herself with Master’s Degree in Science, Masters Degree in   Education, would not feel herself alone in travelling from Pusad to   Indore, when atleast a bus service is available as mode of transport.   The submission made on behalf of Mamta, the wife, is not palatable and   digestable. This smells of oblique intention of putting extra financial   burden on the husband. Such attempts are to be discouraged.

8. In fact, well qualified spouses desirous of remaining idle, not   making efforts for the purpose of finding out a source of livelihood,   have to be discouraged, if the society wants to progress. The spouses   who are quarrelling and coming to the Court in respect of matrimonial   disputes, have to be guided for the purpose of amicable settlement as   early as possible and, therefore, grant of luxurious, excessive   facilities by way of pendente lite alimony and extra expenditure has to   be discouraged. Even then, if the spouses do not think of amicable   settlement, the matrimonial Courts should dispose of the matrimonial   petitions as early as possible. The matrimonial Courts have to keep it   in mind that the quarrels between the spouses create dangerous impact   on minds of their offsprings of such wedlocks. The offsprings do not   understand as to where they should see ? towards father or towards   mother ? By seeing them both fighting, making allegations against each   other, they get bewildered. Such bewilderedness and loss of affection   of parents is likely to create a trauma on their minds and brains. This   frustration amongst children of tender ages is likely to create   complications which would ruin their future. They can not be exposed to   such danger on account of such fighting parents.

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9. In the present case the husband has not challenged the order.   Therefore, no variation or modification in it is necessary though this   revision petition stands dismissed. The matrimonial Court is hereby   directed to decide the matrimonial petition which is pending amongst   these two spouses as early as possible. The matrimonial Court is   directed to submit monthwise report about the progress of the said   matrimonial petition to this Court so as to secure a continuous,   unobstructed progress of matrimonial petition. No order as to costs.   The amount of pendente lite alimony payable to Mamta Jaiswal by husband   Rajesh Jaiswal should be deposited by him within a month by counting   the date from the date of order. The failure on this aspect would   result in dismissal of his matrimonial petition. He should continue   payment of Rs. 400/-pcr month to his daughter Ku. Diksha Jaiswal right   from the date of presentation of application of her maintenance i.e.,   14-5-98. That has to be also deposited within a month. He may take out   sufficient money for that from his savings or take a loan from some   good concern or loan granting agencies. Failure in this aspect also   would result in dismissal of his petition.

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