Mr. Rebates

Friday, October 22, 2010

Estranged wife entitled to house, says SC

Nov 18, 2008

NEW DELHI: Husbands paying monthly maintenance to cover food, clothing and other expenses of estranged wives may now have to shell out a great deal more. For, the Supreme Court has ruled that maintenance should include provision for a house akin to the husband's.

"Maintenance, as we see it, necessarily, must encompass a provision for residence," said a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma, ruling in favour of Komal Amma from Kerala who struggled to find a house for herself after estrangement.

"Maintenance is given so that the woman can live in the manner, more or less, to which she was accustomed," the Bench said on Friday.

Therefore, if the couple was living in a posh locality, then after estrangement, the husband is bound to give a sum along with maintenance that would enable her to rent a house in a similar locality.

"The concept of maintenance must, therefore, include provision for food and clothing and the like and take into account the basic need of a roof over the head," the Bench said in a significant ruling that would help estranged wives lead a normal life without feeling the pinch.

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