Punjab HC permits man to provide food articles as maintenance

Case Name: Amit Mehra V. Manju Case Number: CRM5252-2019

Justice RS Attri issued an order permitting an unemployed man to provide his wife with monthly rations of food articles instead of maintenance. 

Punjab HC permits man to provide food articles as maintenance

A family court in Bhiwani had initially  directed the husband, Amit Mehra, to pay a fixed monetary sum on a monthly basis to his wife as maintenance after divorce. Challenging the order, the husband approached the High Court, as he wanted to pay the maintenance as food items instead of cash. 

He submitted that he was unemployed, as the establishment he used to work at had shut down. Hence, he could no longer pay in cash, but was willing to provide her with monthly rations of rice, ghee and pulses.  His lawyer submitted that the alimony would consist of – 20kg rice, 15 kg wheat, 5kg sugar, 5kg ghee and 5kg pulses, to be given every month, as well as 2 liters of milk everyday. He would also provide her with 3 sets of clothing every 4 months. 

This was accepted by Justice Raj Shekhar Attri on 17th July 2019. He issued an order directing the petitioner to provide the items to his wife within three days of the order. The next hearing for the case would be held on 25 July 2019. The petitioner is to clear all his arrears of maintenance, and submit an affidavit confirming the same by this date. 

According to Section 125 of the CrPC, Court can direct a man to pay monthly maintenance to his wife after their divorce. The purpose behind payment of maintenance is to ensure that the estranged wife can continue the same kind of lifestyle as she did before marriage, and not face major financial problems due to the termination of the marriage. In 2012, a ruling by the Madras High Court had stated that a man is bound to pay maintenance in a divorce case, even if he is unemployed. Laws for maintenance are derived from the personal laws of the parties.