The Hyderabad High Court has ruled that an unemployed husband need not pay maintenance to his employed wife, setting aside the order of a family court in Andhra Pradesh.
The court in West Godavari district's Eluru, had ordered the husband to pay Rs. 4,000 as monthly maintenance to his wife. The wife was reported to be an employee of a state-owned hospital.
According to a report in the Times of India, the wife stated that the duo were married in 2012 after paying the husband a dowry of Rs. 6 lakh, along with some gold.
However, within a week of their marriage, the woman said that the husband began harassing her, and doubting her fidelity. The petition stated that the husband would monitor her calls and read her messages, besides also allegedly demanding additional dowry.
Following this, the woman filed for a divorce and approached the family court, and demanded that the husband pay her a maintenance of Rs. 10,000 from his salary as a lecturer.
Meanwhile, the husband claimed that the woman was married off against her will, and used to talk with another person on the phone regularly. He also claimed that she lived with him for just 12 days, before she went back to her parent's house.
He also argued that he could not provide maintenance as he was unemployed, and made a living giving tutions, while the wife was employed and able to take care of herself.
After the family court's verdict, the husband moved the High Court.
The HC judge ruled in the man's favour, but added that the money already paid to the ex-wife was unrecoverable.
The court also said that if the ex-wife did not have a source of income in the future, she could file a fresh petition, seeking alimony.