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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Husband bound to compensate wife for spending on major son: Delhi HC

The court said that the purpose of Section 125 CrPC is to ensure that the wife and the children of the husband are not left in a state of destitution after the divorce.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 15, 2021 12:18:23 pm
husband wife dis[ute delhi high courtThe court said that in the majority of households, women are unable to work due to socio-cultural and structural impediments and thus cannot financially support themselves. (File Photo)

In a matrimonial dispute, the Delhi High Court has said a father cannot be absolved of all the responsibilities to meet the education expenses of his son just because he may have attained the age of majority.

Justice Subramonium Prasad in an order said that the court cannot shut its eyes to the reality that simply attaining the age of a major does not translate into an understanding that the major son is earning sufficiently. It added that at the age of 18, it can be safely assumed that the son is either graduating from Class XII or is in his first year of college.

“More often than not, it does not place him in a position wherein he can earn to sustain or maintain himself. It further places the entire burden on the mother to bear the expenses of educating the children without any contribution from the father, and this court cannot countenance such a situation,” said Justice Prasad.

The court said that the purpose of Section 125 CrPC is to ensure that the wife and the children of the husband are not left in a state of destitution after the divorce.

“The husband must also carry the financial burden of making certain that his children are capable of attaining a position in society wherein they can sufficiently maintain themselves. The mother cannot be burdened with the entire expenditure on the education of her son just because he has completed 18 years of age,” it said.

The court further said that a father is bound to compensate the wife who, after spending on children, may “hardly be left with anything to maintain herself”. The court made the observations in an order on an application seeking review of the order passed by the court in June 2021 in which the husband was directed to pay an amount of Rs 15,000 per month as interim maintenance to his wife till their son completes his graduation or starts earning.

It was argued by the man before the court that the Supreme Court has held that maintenance for children can be granted only if the children have not attained majority. In the case before the High Court, the son had attained majority in August 2018. The court was also told that the wife is a gazetted officer who earns more than Rs 70,000 per month and also gets education expenses from her employer.

The court said that in the majority of households, women are unable to work due to socio-cultural and structural impediments and thus cannot financially support themselves. However, it added that in households where women are working and earning sufficiently to maintain themselves, the husband does not automatically stand absolved.

“A father has an equal duty to provide for his children and there cannot be a situation wherein it is only the mother who has to bear the burden of expenses for raising and educating the children,” it said.

It further said the court has not granted maintenance to the major son but to his mother. It, however, also said the argument that education expenses are being paid by the wife’s employer cannot be taken into consideration as the duty of husband to bear the responsibilities to raise his children and educate them cannot be extinguished at the end of the day.

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