Home > Law minister > NFHS Memo to Law Minister on arbitrary, exorbitant and high maintenance amount awarded by Courts and harassment to husband and his family members in the name of “protection of women”

NFHS Memo to Law Minister on arbitrary, exorbitant and high maintenance amount awarded by Courts and harassment to husband and his family members in the name of “protection of women”

28th July 2011



Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice,

Ministry of Law and Justice,

4th Floor, A-Wing,                                                                                     Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 001

Subject: Regarding arbitrary, exorbitant and high maintenance amount awarded by Courts and harassment to husband and his family members in the name of “protection of women”

About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society® NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 16500 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / http://www.498a.org.in.

Dear Sir,


Even though you had assumed the charge of Law Minister recently but the high rate of Divorce and breaking of families must be known to you. We have been relentlessly petitioning Government from many years citing various reasons for this trend and have been organizing protests, dharna and procession etc from time to time. But we have not been able to get any concrete proposal from Government to stop the breaking of families.


Alarmed by another disturbing trend in the recent times which can have serious implication in the society, we are writing this petition to you in the hope that concrete steps will be taken in this regard. The trend is the tendency of the courts to pass very high, excessive, exorbitant and unreasonable amount of maintenance awarded to estranged wife in case of matrimonial disputes.


There have been media reports in recent times that amount of 40000/- per month and 40 lakhs etc are being awarded as maintenance amount citing the status of wife, earning capacity of husband etc. While not many will dispute to give reasonable maintenance to wife but at the same time it seems that these orders are being passed as there is no bar on the higher side of maintenance in Law. While most of the discussion in court orders revolve around a reasonable amount of maintenance but there seems to be no clarity, consensus or agreement in the Judiciary on this as can be seen from a widely contrasting orders from different courts.


In our NGO, we have come across a case where a husband has been ordered to pay around 50% of his salary. While everyone seems to be emotionally and heavily biased towards wife, conveniently forgetting that a husband also has aged old parents and could have siblings like brothers and sisters whose marriage and education he needs to support. A broken marriage is not a crime but the Gender biased laws of this country makes sure that in case of matrimonial dispute a husband and all his family members are sent to Jail merely on the allegation of wife, thanks to heavy misuse of 498A IPC.


Coming to the issue of maintenance, passing of 30%, 40% maintenance against husband is nothing but absurd and injustice to husband and his family members. Even if we do a simple calculation and look at our own families, we can easily calculate how much a person needs per month for his/her survival. Just to stress this point with an example, if a person has wife and a child and age old parent and one brother and one sister then his income needs to be divided into 7 parts atleast as son is the main bread earner when parent grow old. It is a matter of common knowledge that a person does not spend everything and saves as much as possible for a rainy day. And also Just because a person has married does not absolve him from taking care of his parent and siblings. Considering all this 1/10th of a person’s monthly take home salary seems to be reasonable amount of maintenance provided the estranged wife is illiterate and handicapped. If an estranged wife is well qualified and well bodied then her maintenance claim should be rejected outright.


While passing maintenance most of the time the standard phrase is “Husband is well bodied”. Well that is true for women also. Also most of the time maintenance is passed citing the status of the couple. Well a husband might had married a women who is from poor family and husband might be in good financial position and assuming that marriage lasted only for couple of months, can the wife be awarded maintenance on the changed status? It is absurd even to think of that because a significant portion of her life she spent in poor financial status.


While in matrimonial dispute, it seems most of the court orders related to maintenance seems to be passed emotionally rather than as per Law, we should not forgot that a husband also has mother and sister who are also women and whom he needs to support. In fact mother will be aged and in need of financial assistance for her medical needs.


We would also like to invite your kind attention to another important issue which is in dire need of reforms by the Parliament and that issue is of “Multiple maintenance” or in other words “Duplication of Law”. There are more than five sections in Law which enables an estranged wife to claim maintenance from her husband in case of matrimonial dispute. They are Domestic Violence Act, CrPC 125, HMA24, HMA25 and HAMA18. It has become a trend by estranged wife to file all possible section against husband in order to harass him and to extract maximum maintenance.


We would also like to invite your kind attention that “women empowerment” cannot be achieved by “harassing husband” and his family members. “Women empowerment” can be achieved only by making them educated, self reliant and making them skillfully employed. What will happen to women if she is receiving 40000/- per month maintenance and then her Ex-husband dies after few years. Such women will virtually come on road as she is neither employed nor can seek employment without any experience.


In view of above discussion and reasoning, we demand following


  • Mandate Law Commission of India to study how various maintenance laws can be simplified into one law so that it will benefit both wife and husband in case of matrimonial disputes and also it will bring pendency of court cases significantly.


  • Amend current maintenance laws to put a cap of not more than 1/10th take home salary per month.


  • Maintenance should not be given to educated, working, well bodied or adulterous wife


  • No maintenance should be given to wife if husband gets acquittal in 498A IPC or any criminal case initiated by wife.


  • Number of years elapsed in marriage should be a critical factor in deciding maintenance as there are series of cases where even after few days of marriage wife has put maintenances cases.


  • When considering status of wife, while deciding maintenance, more weightage should be given to the status of wife before marriage.


  • Wife should not be allowed to put two or more maintenance cases.  Once she prefers a forum for filing maintenance case, others forum should not accept her petition.


  • Maintenance should be granted for the purpose to maintain decent life style and not for luxury.


  • Tendency to pass high maintenance in the form of interim maintenance should be stopped as the charges/allegations are not proved at that stage.


We submit that our demands are just and reasonable and in the event of non-implementation of our demands, we would be constrained to go to the streets with dharnas, Public Fasting and resort to other democratic means of protests.


Please save the family and thereby save our great Nation to retain India a “Vasudeva Kutumbaham”.


Jai Hind!!

With profound respects,



P Suresh, President,                                           M Mahesh, General Secretary,

9880141531                                                          9731569970

National Family Harmony Society              National Family Harmony Society

Categories: Law minister
  1. July 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Maintenance / Alimony should be given as the part of the salary (A – B) / 3 for 1/2 the number of years / months of marriage life.

    Here ‘A’ is husbands salary and ‘B’ is wifes salary.
    The salary means the average salary per month for past 2 years.
    No of years / months of married life = number of years / months stayed and cohibited together as husband and wife. If the separation was for maternity, then this should not be more than 6 months.

  2. YAKSH
    July 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

    NFHS, you are fully right, we are in full support of you. there is not very much to suggest law ministry as you have covered almost every thing. We have some more point of suggestions.
    in deciding the maintenance:
    1. While deciding the maintenance, the right of a women in her parents property should also be considered, it is now a law.
    2. there is another law that, maintenance of parents is son’s duty, if he will not do this, he will be punished, daughter-in-law should also be included.
    3. “No work, no pay” principle of Natural Justice should be applied in this matter also, we could not understand why this principle is thrown out. Govt. is applying this theory in “National Promotion Policy” to deny promotion from retrospective date.
    4. While a pension was provided to the govt. employees after 20 years of regular services and now this is stopped by the govt, then why court giving pension to wives who have not performed their matrimonial duties even for a single year.
    5. Govt. is giving unemployment wages for 100 days in a year, then why this theory is not applied to the wives in matrimonial cases.

    These observations clearly shows that, whole system is totally biased against the “Pati Pariwar” and using every power to harass and break the Indian joint family system. We don’t have faith in the govt. and will take our fight accordingly to expose them.

    They are not eager to solve the problem they are encouraging the false cases and not punishing the misusers to flourish their judicial business, we are the clients and more and more clients more and more business. this problem can be reduced upto 90 percent if govt. will start one observer (DPO) at the time of marriage and make “Marriage registration” with list of items compulsory for filing any matrimonial case.

    Anyway keep it, we are fully with you.

    Pati Pariwar

  3. July 30, 2011 at 12:57 am

    The only way to get this thing sorted out is to quit paying. Once UID is linked to your paycheck you will loose that choice too. It will then be open daylight robbery. Wake up people PRESERVE your rights from errosion.

  4. August 2, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Mr. Yaksh I admire your stand but I have a small doubt here. Your comment number 2 is as follows.

    There is another law that, maintenance of parents is son’s duty, if he will not do this, he will be punished, daughter-in-law should also be included.
    Now my doubt is as follows. Is there indeed such a law ? Ok that’s fine if it is because its children’s duty to look after their parents in their old age. That’s what our culture teaches us. What I want to know is that is there any law which protects sons and daughters from getting disinherited from parents property. Because law binding son to serve father and father free to disinherit son if he wants is not fair on the son as well. If the Baghbaan scene is a no no then the Udaan scene also should be prevented. ( If you have seen these movies you would know what I am talking about ) I would be grateful if some one clears my doubt.

    Best regards

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