HC tells husband to pay wife despite his unemployment, illness

Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court has dismissed an appeal of a man to waive off interim monthly maintenance of Rs 5,000 to his wife as he was sick and unemployed, ruling that the payment should be made regularly until the divorce petition was disposed of.

"Pending the petition, the interim maintenance would have to be paid. No case for any alteration or modification of the impugned order is made out," said Justice Roshan Dalvi.

The High Court gave this order while dismissing a petition filed by Suryakant Tiwari challenging an order of a lower court to grant revised maintenance of Rs 5,000 per month instead of Rs 8,000 granted earlier. The petitioner had not paid any maintenance and was in arrears.

He claimed that his employment was terminated because he was so ill that he could not stand. He produced various certificates and pathological reports which showed that he had HIV+ status, arthritis and TB susceptibility. Tiwari said that he is suffering from all diseases and hence the order asking him to pay maintenance to wife may be quashed.

However, the court said that this aspect of illness would have to be seen at the trial when the petitioner submits himself to cross examination and seeks to prove various illness certificates.

The petitioner further claimed that he spends Rs 3,900 per month for his HIV treatment. To this claim, the Court noted that this also would have to be separately proved.

"Mere producing of petitioner's bills do not show that they refer to the petitioner or that the monies are paid by him. The prescriptions for these medicines would also have to be proved," Justice Dalvi said.

The petitioner is an engineer. He was working and earning a salary of Rs 19,000 per month. That has been discontinued after his termination. He claimed to have got another job which is also terminated.

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