Gujarat High Court: Husband bound to financially support wife & children, cannot shrink responsibility to maintain them


The Gujarat High Court in the case Shripal Raja Rajendrakumar Shah v. State of Gujarat And Ors observed that the husband is a dutybound for providing financial support to his legally wedded wife and children and he cannot evade the responsibility to maintain them. The bench headed by Justice Samir J. Dave added that being a father and a husband, the man is having a lawful and social duty towards providing the same standard of living to his wife and children that they enjoyed before the separation. The court stated that it is being the duty of the husband for maintaining his wife and to provide financial support to her and their children and he cannot shirk his responsibility as husband as well as father to maintain his legally wedded wife and children, which being his lawful and social duty towards them and the wife and children would be entitled to the same standard of living, which they were being enjoying while living with them. In the present case, In 2008, the applicant-husband and the respondent-wife got married and a girl child was born in the wedlock. Therefore, the couple faced matrimonial disputes, which eventually resulted to them living apart. However, the husband moved the Family Court, wherein seeking the daughter’s custody while the wife filed another application seeking maintenance. The applicant followed the same by filing of several applications for the custody of the child. It has been directed by the Family Court to the applicant to pay wife an amount of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000 for the daughter towards the monthly maintenance. The applicant aggrieved with the same moved the High Court. The bench headed by Single Judge analysed the facts of the case and has recalled that the objective of Section 125 of CrPC was to deliver prompt relief to the applicant. The court stated that an application under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure is being predicated on two conditions : (1) the husband has sufficient means; and (2) “neglects” to maintain his wife, who is unable for maintaining herself. Adding to which, the court stated that the husband may be directed by the Magistrate to pay such monthly sum to the wife, as deemed fit and the maintenance is being awarded on the basis of the financial capacity of the husband and considering the other relevant factors. The Husband was being found to have been earning of Rs.5,00,000 per month. Thus, the Family Court had granted maintenance to his wife and daughter, the court while considering the necessary expenses and the ongoing inflation. The court in the case Rajnesh v. Neha And Ors observed that the maintenance amount which is being awarded must be reasonable and realistic; it should neither be so extravagant which becomes oppressive and unbearable for the respondent nor should it be so meagre that it is being deprived the wife to penury. It has been found by the High Court that the Family Court had granted the maintenance amount rightly after considering the income of the husband. Further, the court directed the applicant to clear the arrears amount of the maintenance as it is awarded by the Family Court. Accordingly, the court dismissed the revision petition. The counsels, Advocate Pratik Y. Jasani and Advocate Urvesh M. Prajapati appeared for the applicants and the counsel, APP RC Kodekar appeared for the State in the present matter.