Overhaul of maintenance laws in India – An open letter to law minister

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From,                                                                                                     Date :-

Name:

Address:

To,

The Honorable Minister for Law and Justice

Dr M Veerappa Moily,

Sub: – Paying maintenance to qualified and empowered women for short marriages must be stopped with immediate effect.

Honorable Minister,

Ordering maintenance to a qualified woman voluntarily incapacitating herself after a short marriage just to extract money from her husband is nothing but a judicially imposed system of involuntary servitude wherein one human being is placed within the bondage to another one as long as the maintenance term is ordered. I feel that it is every husband’s responsibility to provide for child support however paying maintenance to qualified women in childless marriages who voluntarily incapacitate themselves must be stopped outright.

The current condition of Indian Women

No matter how much the women’s organizations and women’s ministry want to fictionalize to the world the sorry state of Indian women the reality is however quite the opposite.  India has undergone a sea change as far as the empowerment and earning potential of women are concerned. Women now dominate many fields like Call Centers, BPO’s, Advertising and Media. Women get equal opportunities at workplace and are better educated than men because the cost of educating girls in India is far less than cost of educating boys.  Women get free education and also pay lesser taxes for the same amount of salary earned as compared to a man. Delhi recently registered more female births than male births effectively killing the India female feticide agenda that was drummed around so far. Women have special trains and busses for them to make commuting to and from their workplaces easy. They also enjoy reservations at various levels of the government including the now historical recommendation of reserving 33% of all seats in the parliament for women. The percentage of reservation for women has now been increased to as high as 50% in some cases. While women contribute only 18% of the country’s taxes the Indian government spends over Rs 6800 crores on them annually under the various different heads. Women have a have a fully functional cabinet ministry and a National Commission for women working just for their needs. Women have over 15 marital laws to protect themselves including about 5 different laws to get maintenance from their husbands.  The misuse statistics of the Anti Dowry law (IPC 498A) and the Domestic Violence Act of 2005 has been widely known now the world over and is not presented in this letter.

Indian Maintenance laws for women

Divorce and Maintenance laws in India were created when the majority of women in India were illiterate and no means to earn a living and were totally dependent on their fathers, brothers or husbands for their livelihood. Maintenance laws had the noble intention of ordering the husband to provide separate livelihood expenses for his wife of many years, his children whom he had fathered so that the wife who had never worked before or was uneducated could provide for herself and her children and elk out a decent living.

The current reality in Indian family courts is however is shocking. Extracting maintenance is becoming a cause of a Marriage for many women and not an outcome of a unfortunate divorce. Women marry so that they can extract money through the various maintenance laws many times filing simultaneous maintenance cases under various sections. Indian women have access to as many as 5 different laws to get maintenance from their husbands.

  • Section 125 of the CrPC: Meant to provide no-fault maintenance to wife from husband.
  • Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA): Though gender neutral, is largely used by women to extract maintenance from their husbands in pendency of a divorce.
  • Section 25 of the HMA: Meant to provide alimony to women from divorce.
  • Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act: Another provision for maintenance to wives.
  • Domestic Violence Act : This Act also is used to get maintenance from husbands

Out of these 5 laws only one law is gender neutral, the rest of then can only be used by women against their husbands.

Qualified women extracting maintenance – A modern Menace

A visit to a family court in any of the metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore will reveal a shocking reality that in almost all divorce cases high maintenance is demanded by women in even marriages as which are short as 2 months or 6 months. The educated and empowered women in these cases are all very qualified, the minimum qualification being a graduate degree. A large number of women are highly qualified engineers, doctors or IT professionals. These qualified women still demand maintenance stating the fact that it is the responsibility of the husband to provide for the maintenance of these women as they were maintained during their very short marriage. These women at first voluntarily incapacitate themselves and then demands astronomical amounts of maintenance. The various different ways that money is extracted is highlighted below.

1)      Section 498A is used in many cases to arrest the husband and then force him for a ‘compromise’ which is nothing but a huge lump sum amount that is to be paid to the wife by the husband. This is not a normal maintenance case but nevertheless is still a great extortion tool.

2)      CrPC 125 is used along with Domestic violence act and maintenance is demanded simultaneously in both cases.

3)      Women with marriages less 1 year voluntarily incapacitate themselves at their parents’ home and then demand maintenance so that they can now live life to the same standards in their parents place as they have enjoyed during the marriage.

4)      DV act is abused to get access to home and residences apart from ex-parte maintenance orders in marriages shorter than even 1 year.

5)      Once interim maintenance in granted the women drag the cases so that the interim maintenance is continued to be paid for a longer time.

6)      Qualifications and previous work experience is deliberately hidden by women to   get the sympathy of the court. Women are not penalized for coming to the court with unclean hands.

In the HMA 24 case of Smt. Mamta Jaiswal vs. Rajesh Jaiswal where the wife  was qualified, had voluntary incapacitated was demanding maintenance from her husband  Honorable Madhya Pradesh High court stated the below .

“In view of this, the question arises as to in what way Section 24 of the Act has to be interpreted. Whether a spouse who has capacity of earning but chooses to remain idle, should be permitted to saddle other spouse with his or her expenditure? Whether such spouse should be permitted to get pendente life alimony at higher rate from other spouse in such condition? According to me, Section 24 has been enacted for the purpose of providing a monetary assistance to such spouse who is incapable of supporting himself or herself in spite of sincere efforts made by him or herself. A spouse who is well qualified to get the service immediately with less effort is not expected to remain idle to squeeze out, to milk out the other spouse by relieving him of his or her own purse by a cut in the nature of pendente life alimony. The law does not expect the increasing number of such idle persons who by remaining in the arena of legal battles, try to squeeze out the adversary by implementing the provisions of law suitable to their purpose.”

“In fact, well qualified spouses desirous of remaining idle, not making efforts for the purpose of finding out a source of livelihood, have to be discouraged, if the society wants to progress. The spouses who are quarrelling and coming to the Court in respect of matrimonial disputes, have to be guided

for the purpose of amicable settlement as early as possible and, therefore, grant of luxurious, excessive facilities by way of pendente lite alimony and extra expenditure has to be discouraged.”

Inspite of having such sensible judgments the courts in India regularly grant maintenance to qualified women who prefer to incapacitate themselves at their parents home and demand that their husbands keep them in the same standard as during the marriage .The courts never question the motive of these women not earn a living for themselves and still rely on the centuries old tradition that the husband must maintain the wife come what may. A woman no matter qualified, no matter how short her marriage and no matter how much her contribution to the marriage is more or less guaranteed to get maintenance in India if she petitions for it.

Recommendations

1)      Alimony for graduates ,doctors, lawyers, professionals, engineers, MBAs, CAs and the likes should be rejected prima facie and concept of lifetime parasitism be replaced by a better concept to provide interest free sustenance loans returnable in 3-5 years upon obtaining gainful employment. Voluntary incapacitation by capable spouses asking for maintenance to be made a punishable offense to discourage it. Moreover interim maintenance should not be allowed to be used as a dole leading to treatment of husbands as FREE ATM MACHINES.

2)      The quantum of maintenance must strictly based and the duration of the marriage. For example, in most states of the United States the wife can qualify for maintenance only if she has lived with the husband for a minimum period of time and the quantum of the maintenance is dependent on that .In the state of Texas a wife can claim maintenance from her husband if she has stayed with her husband for a minimum of 10 years.

3)      Women with children must be sustenance loans from their husbands so that they can train themselves in order to enter the workforce again. These loans must be returnable to the husbands once the women start earning. This is apart from the child support payments that the husband must contribute.

4)      Multiple provisions for maintenance viz. Domestic Violence Act, Section 125 CrPC, Section 18 – HMA, Section 24 – HAMA etc. should be simplified and normalized to one single provision as people are entangled in multiple litigations for the same alleged cause of action leading to infringement of Constitutional Rights vide Article 20,21 and 22 of the Indian Constitution.

5)      Husbands also must be provided with maintenance when they need it. Maintenance must not be made the exclusive right of a woman in a marriage. Men are today increasing taking over roles of a mother and a father and husbands are liable to maintained by qualified wife if the need arises.

6)      The upper ceiling of a maintenance amount must always be fixed by law and based on the country’s living standard so that unscrupulous women do not use the marriage as a way to riches.

A marriage must not be made a way for qualified unscrupulous women to profit. Breaking a marriage must never be made monetarily lucrative, as it has been made in India today. Today qualified Indian women stand to gain a lot my marrying and then quickly breaking marriages and thereafter immediately demanding huge maintenance and alimonies. Maintenance must be based on genuine need and not greed of a woman. Today however the practice and the urge to get maintenance through multiple maintenance laws has because the cause of breaking marriages and extracting money. The government must make the maintenance laws stringent so that while parties (either husband or wife) who are truly needy can take relief under this section, the unscrupulous ones who sole intention to extract maintenance from the husband can be punished.

Thanking you,

Your’s  Faithfully,
Name :

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17 thoughts on “Overhaul of maintenance laws in India – An open letter to law minister

  1. your opinion is absolutely wrong, in matrimonial disputes ladies will face depression, hence they are incapable of performing duties, definetly courts has to support such women by granting maintenance even though they are highly qualified. Actually study doesn’t meant for earning.

    • Indeed, Madam Parasite…
      Women like you study only to feed off your Husbands (aka the Free ATM Machines)…
      And ofcourse, legal terrorists like you can obviously not see the amount of stress you put on your poor hubby by your unending parasitic demands…

      I pity your hen-pecked husband!

    • Swetha ,

      I totally agree with what you said , women in Indian study just to get good alliances from Rich grooms , who must be forced to take care of them no matter if the wife performs any duties in the marraige at all .

      Since study is not meant for earning , I would propose the government to open new centers where women like yourself can be imparted skills to get rich alliances , since study does not impart any skills whatso ever .

      Women always have a solemn duties in a marriage which they must perform , actually the take a vow to perform these duties when they walk around the fire

      1) Extort and torture the husband
      2) Throw the Husband’s aged parents out of the house
      3) Siphon money from the husbands house to their own house
      4) Misuse marital laws to cause pain and suffering to the husband .
      I believe that all women are still not performing these duties and we must work together to make sure that every women performs these duties all the time .

      Women are obviously depressed when the Husband refuses to act according to their whims and facies . There must be a new law where a husband must be sold to a woman like a slave during marriage .This will remove the depression that they suffer .

      I am sure with more number “highly qualified” “depressed” wives unable to perform their “duties” will make the society a very happy place for all of us to live .

      • how true.
        All this is actually leading to a situation where women are the ultimate losers as people(families) are losing faith in INDIAN women and are trying to be on guard in the initial few years of marriage which results in absence of bonding which is the essential ingredient of any marriage. Funnily enough the common man understands it but our law makers remain unaware

    • In reply to Swetha… I just want to question your ignorance that depression have all rights reserved only for women.. Any person who is true at heart can get depression.. It is pity in indian law system that they don’t consider man as a human being.. Its really shame that laws to protect woman are being misused by women..

  2. ” ladies will face depression”
    “support such women by granting maintenance”
    You appear to believe that Women lack self esteem and self respect.Do you want to show off women as object for bgeggary and they enjoy begging.
    No self respecting person would encourage begging in the name of woman.
    Youkind of radical feminist and lawyers project all women as ‘ABLA NARIes”.
    they then go around and probagete womeen should be MAINTAINED.

    this nothing but begging in the name of woman.

  3. Ritika and Swetha,

    You both have shown what kind of people you are. Supreme court of India calls women misusing the law as “Legal Terrorist” . Women should go and beg

  4. Swetha,
    Trauma is experienced by both husband and wife so they both she take care of themselves. If the woman can get money for free from the husband and then use it to fight the husband then there is no justice in that.

  5. “in matrimonial disputes ladies will face depression”. Does it mean that men face happiness in the same situation?

    Supporting the concept of maintenance is the same as supporting beggary. If women are equal to men, they must show that they have enough self respect to earn for themselves.

  6. Both may get depressed in any stage.If u think women are greedy for mantainenece or alimony, then both spouse shud sit and discuss the probs and solve them at thier level.No need to file a divorce case.If someone filed in hastily,and now thinking that he may be losing his money, then go and compromise. Afterall life is a compromise for everyone for every relation not just in between husband and wife.

  7. Such laws have trembled the values of Indian society, Indian law machinery has violated norms of the society, specially in cases of arranged marriages where you dont know what you are going to get, these laws can be harrasing. Family courts of India, should be liable to return every inch of money to people whom they have directed to pay maintainance. The law/law makers & courts should be made fully responsible for menace they have created. If there is a conflict beyond marriage which involves children, property or anything else, then these cases should be heard directly from the party and not through lawyers which have a ways and means to twist the facts. If family courts have lawyers they are not rightly named. Reading so many posts & blogs I sometimes feel that these laws have been kept unchanged uptil now, as it is a very easy source of earning money by lawyers and judges, and these laws are being used to generate unjust revenue. I am optimistic, that if lawmakers dont make changes in time, the people of India will change the lawmakers for good.

  8. Husbands are more depressed than wives.This is the wrong law against men. Ladies always used their husbands.This law should be changed because newly wedded girls misuse this law.Pl make a law in favour of men.

  9. Divorce can be a tumultuous time and if not managed properly, can be one of the most financially devastating life events. The process can be emotional and intense and the financial decisions you make during this time might be some of the most important economic decisions of your life. It is imperative to understand your complete financial situation. Knowledge and preparation will be crucial to your creating a sound financial agreement.

    <.http://www.caramoan.co

  10. sir myself dr.yogesh and we r being marriage around one and half yr now my wife doing a false allegation on me so what can i do at this time and she wants a huge money for maintainance what an i do

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