Madhya Pradesh High Court: Husband Cannot Refuse Maintenance to Wife Based Solely on Modern Lifestyle

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In a landmark decision, the Madhya Pradesh High Court asserted that a wife’s choice to lead a modern lifestyle cannot be used as grounds to deny her maintenance. Justice GS Ahluwalia emphasized that the court cannot deem a wife’s modern life as “immoral” merely based on her husband’s perception.

The court rejected a petition seeking to quash an order directing a man to pay ₹5,000 monthly maintenance to his wife. Justice Ahluwalia reiterated that as long as the wife is not engaged in criminal activities, she has the freedom to live her life according to her wishes, whether orthodox or modern.

In the case at hand, the husband challenged the maintenance order issued by a Satna district court, citing his orthodox background and his wife’s modern lifestyle as reasons for objection. However, the High Court emphasized that moral judgments cannot override legal obligations, and a wife’s lifestyle choices do not constitute immoral behavior unless proven otherwise.

The court reasoned that the maintenance amount awarded was not excessive considering the cost of living and daily expenses. While dismissing the husband’s petition, the court clarified that the order does not prevent the wife and child from seeking an enhancement of the maintenance amount in the future.

Advocate Paritosh Trivedi represented the petitioner in the case.

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