'Independent' woman denied rental allowance from husband

Woman denied rental allowance

A woman's plea for direction to her estranged husband to pay her rental allowance has been dismissed by a Delhi court on the ground that she is an "independent" woman and has failed to show that he is earning more than her.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj set aside the trial court's order which had rejected the woman's plea for maintenance but had asked the husband to pay a rental allowance of Rs 8,000 per month to her.

The sessions court gave its order on an appeal by the man against the trial court's decision.

"The respondent (wife) is an independent woman and this factor has been in consideration before the trial court when it declined to grant her maintenance.

"Under such circumstances to hold that she is entitled for a residence allowance from the husband, who she has not been able to show, is earning more than her is not an appropriate order," the ASJ said.

Refusing to grant rental allowance to her, the court observed that the Domestic Violence Act was meant for the purpose of preventing "vagrancy" and assisting "resource-less women" who had been turned out of their matrimonial homes.

During the adjudication of his appeal, the man told the court that the trial court had wrongly directed him to pay rental allowance to his estranged wife as she was earning over Rs 29,000 per month while working for a reputable firm, while he was unemployed.

The woman had contested the plea saying she had a right to demand residence allowance as per the law and that residing in the same house with her husband was not possible for her.

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