Merely because the wife is ‘capable of earning’, it is not a reason to reduce the maintenance awarded to her, the Supreme Court has held in a recent pronouncement in Shailja vs. Khobbanna.
A bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Prafulla C Pant said whether the wife is capable of earning or whether she is actually earning are two different requirements and the high court went wrong in reducing the compensation awarded to her by the family court on the sole basis that she was ‘capable of earning’.
Interestingly, the high court had rejected the contention of the husband that his wife was working as a lecturer and is earning. But observing that she is ‘capable of earning’, the high court reduced the maintenance amount of Rs.25,000 awarded by the family court to herself and her son, to Rs.12,000.
The court also observed that the income of the husband, is more than Rs.80,000 per month and he is a senior lecturer in a college, and also the owner of 26 acres of irrigated land.
Read the order here.