A man cannot abstain from paying maintenance to his estranged wife even if he is aged and ailing, ruled the Kerala High Court on Tuesday.
This came on an appeal filed by a man from Tirurangadi in Malappuram district challenging Tirur family court's order of April 2016 to pay maintenance of Rs 2,000 per month to his ex-wife on a petition by her.
Justice Mary Joseph of the Kerala High Court said in the judgment, "despite vehement contentions raised, the family court found from the evidence on record that the woman was old and hapless and was not looked after either by her son or daughter. She being unemployed and having established as devoid of resources of income to maintain herself, the husband even if aged and ailing, cannot abstain himself from paying maintenance monthly."
The man contended that he is unable to go to work due to rheumatism and produced a medical certificate. The High Court said, "as the man has admitted his status as husband, he cannot evade from the moral and legal obligation to maintain his wife, who was deserted by him. A deserted wife is also entitled to get just and reasonable sum as maintenance from her husband."
The couple had got married 31 years prior to the filing of the petition before the family court and the husband was alleged to have neglected the woman from January 2005. He was working as a coolie, earning Rs 10,000 per month.
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