• Husband to pay maintenance even if the wife earns more than him: Punjab & Haryana HC

    January 10, 2017

    The High Court of Punjab and Haryana ruled that maintenance shall be granted to the wife who is earning more than her husband.

    The HC gave this decision after dismissing a petition that was filed against the order given by the Pathankot district court that granted the wife right to maintenance under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 even when she was earning more than her husband.

    In the present case, the district court had ordered the husband to pay a sum of Rs.15, 000 every month to the wife to meet the expenses of the two children, who were residing with her. The petitioner sought to get rid of his responsibilities of a father on the pretext that his wife was earning more than him and he had his old parents to look after.

    The HC denied the husband’s petition and upheld the decision of the district court stating that after taking into consideration, prices of daily necessities of life, expenses on education of the children, who have to meet the challenges of the society and face peer pressure, the court find it difficult to accept contention of the petitioner that maintenance that he has been ordered to pay is on higher side and requires reduction.

    The court observed that the wife is entitled to enjoy the same amenities of life as she would have been had she been staying in the matrimonial home, adding that it was the settled position of law.


    The decision upheld by the Punjab and Haryana HC is focusing too much on the substantive law and over-looking the practicality. In the present case, when the wife is capable enough to earn more than the divorced husband, the husband should be exempted from paying the maintenance to her. Further the court should also give due importance to the fact that the husband has the responsibilities of his own parents, thus it would be very difficult for him to pay maintenance to his wife and look into the well-being of his old parents as well.

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