The Uttarakhand High Court recently increased the amount of maintenance awarded to a woman, noting that she had to take care of her major son as well since he was unemployed.
Justice Lok Pal Sigh observed, "Though an adult son cannot claim maintenance from his parents as a matter of right, but in the Indian culture we cannot forget the fact that the parents have to maintain their adult child till he gets suitable employment and it is a social duty casts upon the parents to maintain the adult child. This Indian culture and custom cannot be compared with the European culture and custom."
The Court was hearing two revision petitions filed by the husband as well as the wife, challenging an order passed in January, 2011 by the Family Court directing the husband to pay a sum of Rs. 12,000 as maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to the wife. While the husband had challenged payment of maintenance, the wife was aggrieved with the insufficiency of the same.
Before the Family Court, the wife had pointed out that since the husband earned a salary of Rs. 65,000 per month, an amount of Rs. 20,000 per month must be awarded as maintenance to her and their son. The husband, on the other hand, had alleged that the wife was cruel to him, and that she was already earning a handsome amount through her job.
However, since then the husband's gross salary had increased to over a lakh per month, while the wife's net income was a lakh per annum. Taking note of this fact, the Court observed, "This Court cannot ignore the fact that the income of the husband has increased by every passing year. It is true that the wife is also earning by way of receiving commission on recurring deposits from the Post Office, but her income is uncertain and kept on increasing and decreasing during the respective financial year. If I took the average annual income of the wife, it comes approximately to Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lac only). Her average annual income is Rs. 1,00,000/- and she has to maintain herself as also his son."
Thereafter, noting that "the amount of monthly maintenance must be befitting the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay the same", the Court revised the maintenance to Rs. 20,000 per month from the date of filing the application till the date of filing the criminal revision, and Rs. 45,000 per month since the date of filing the criminal revision.