Husband has left his job and denying maintenance

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow


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Advised on 15 Mar, 2020

Question: My husband has left his job intentionally for denying maintenance under Section 125 crpc. He is a qualified doctor and employed in a reputed hospital. When he received the notice of maintenance case, he resigned from the service. 

But he still earning a handsome amount from private practice. He is doing medical practice in hush-hush. Could I get any maintenance?

Asked from: Uttar Pradesh

Your husband is a qualified doctor and abled bodied. He can earn and support his family financially. Nevertheless, he has not been working.

Maintenance is an absolute right of the wife

The wife has an absolute right to claim maintenance from her husband if she has been living in destitution. It is the prime liability of the husband to take care of his wife and save her from vagrancy. Section 125 crpc protects that right of the wife. 

Captain Ramesh Chander Kaushal vs Veena Kaushal (1978) 4 SCC 70

The Supreme Court has held that section 125 crpc gives effect to the fundamental right and natural duties of the man to maintain his wife when she is unable to maintain herself. 

Chaturbhuj vs Sita Bai (2008) 2 SCC 316

Once again the Supreme Court reiterated that Section 125 crpc is a measure of social justice and is specially enacted to protect the women and children from vagrancy.  

Jobless husband is bound to maintain his wife

Jobless is no defence for the husband because the law presumes that a healthy person can earn to sustain his family. If the husband is able-bodied and educated, he has to take care of his wife. It is the prime liability and husband cannot absolve himself to perform it.

Chander Prakash Bodh Raj vs Shila Rani Chander Prakash AIR 1968 Del 174 

The Delhi High Court has held that 

“An able-bodied young man has to be presumed to be able reasonably to maintain his wife. He cannot be heard to say that he is not in a position to earn enough. to discharge his legal obligation of maintaining his wife.”

Husband has left his job

Being a jobless person is no defence under section 125 crpc. The husband cannot take such a plea and escape from his legal liability to maintain his wife. 

Sonabhai Bhatiya vs State of Gujrat (2005) 3 SCC 636 

the Supreme Court held that husband cannot take the plea that due to financial constraints he will not maintain his wife, so long as he is capable of earning. 

Maintenance order under section 125 crpc

The court can grant a maintenance order however, your husband is currently unemployed. That plea is not acceptable because the law presumes that the husband has such ability. In your case, the husband is a qualified doctor therefore, the court will grant a handsome amount as maintenance.