Reported By: Sanya Talwar
Last Updated: September 14, 2023, 13:57 IST
The Delhi High Court has said a woman is not entitled to maintenance if she has failed to disclose her income truthfully. The court pointed out that even after being highly qualified and having an earning capacity, she did not disclose her earnings to the court.
A single judge bench of Justice Vikas Mahajan was hearing a plea by a woman, who challenged the validity of a family court order granting maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
Months after her marriage on April 21, 2014, the husband filed for a divorce petition due to incompatibility and differences. The woman, who was then working, resigned from her job on May 22, 2015.
However, the couple resolved their differences and divorce petition was withdrawn on February 6, 2016.
Three months after, a police complaint was filed by the woman. Immediately thereafter, the husband filed another divorce petition.
She sought a monthly sum of Rs 35,000 as maintenance.
The court noted it is not in dispute that the woman was M. Phil at the time of her marriage and was pursuing PhD, which she has completed and is now having the qualification of PhD (Management) with professional qualification in computers, while her husband is just a graduate.
“There is no doubt that merely because a person is qualified she must be compelled to work, but here is a case where in addition to be qualified, the appellant has been working. There is no doubt a difference between ‘capacity’ and ‘actual earning’, but it is not a case where appellant had only the capacity but the document on record clearly point out that she has also been working,” the bench said.
The court said it is not only that the appellant is highly qualified and has an earning capacity, but in fact she has been earning, though has not been inclined to truthfully disclose her true income.
“Such a person cannot be held entitled to maintenance. Pertinently, the claim for maintenance by the appellant under the provisions of Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act has also met the same fate and the maintenance has been declined to her. We, therefore, find no merit in the appeal which is hereby dismissed,” the bench said.