Educational Qualification, Wife’s Social Media Post on Job Not Grounds to Deny Maintenance: Bombay HC

Read Time: 05 minutes


The high court while setting aside the order of the family court granted interim maintenance to the wife and noted that possession of higher qualification cannot be a ground to deny relief.

The single judge bench of the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) comprising Justice Sandeep V. Marine has set aside the order of the family court and granted interim maintenance to the wife on the grounds that mere possession of qualification by the unemployed wife, cannot be ground to grant interim maintenance.

The wife had instituted a suit for annulment of marriage and had simultaneously filed an application for interim maintenance before the family court.

The family court rejected the application of interim maintenance on the grounds that she had the higher qualification and she had made a declaration on social media that she had secured a job in London.

Advocate SV Deshmukh for the wife argued before the court that mere possession of qualifications by the wife could not be a reason for denying interim maintenance, especially when she is jobless. He submitted before the court that the capacity or ability to earn is different from actual earning.

Concerning the social media post, the advocate for the petitioner submitted that no material was placed on record to show that the wife was employed. He informed the court that she had received a sham email upon which she posted it on social media.

Advocate AA Nimbalkar for the husband argued that the wife had unjustifiably withdrawn from the company of the husband within four months of marriage and had leveled reckless allegations of impotency against the husband. He also informed the court that the wife had political connections and sufficient income.

The high court while setting aside the order of the family court said that,

"Considering the her qualifications, the Family Court has raised presumption that the possibility of she securing a job could not be ruled out. This finding in my opinion appears to be totally erroneous. The Family Court itself has recorded a finding that mere publication of a post on social media platform is not sufficient to make out a case with regard to the employment of petitioner. Having held so, the Family Court ought not to have raised a presumption she secured an employment, just because she possesses higher qualifications."

The court said that there was no material placed on record that the wife had gotten a job in London and even though she had posted on social media it is no grounds for denying relief to her.

The court while granting interim maintenance noted that:

"The position of law thus appears to be that mere possession of qualifications by wife who is admittedly not employed, cannot ipso facto be a reason to deny interim maintenance altogether."