Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Man seeks maintenance from live-in partner

It is a a sign that Indian men are not taking it lying down.  A man in Hyderabad has asked for monthly maintenance from his working live-in partner of 10 years, relying on a recent Supreme Court judgment which allowed maintenance to a woman from her live-in partner.  It is to be noted that there is as yet no provision in Indian law for maintenance to a man from live-in partner, but it is a sign that men are asserting their rights based on what is available to women.  If a woman in live-in relationship is allowed to get same benefits as a married woman, then why the same logic can’t be applicable to a man?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Man-seeks-alimony-from-partner/articleshow/6164976.cms

HYDERABAD: Giving gender equality a fresh twist, a jobless man has sought Rs 8,000 a month as alimony from his 'gainfully' employed partner.

This gender bender case, which has landed at the Andhra Pradesh High Court, however, gets even more curiouser in its detail. The couple in question are not legally wedded but have been in a live-in relationship for the last 10 years and even have a daughter.

The Mahbubnagar-based couple's happily ever after story hit a roadblock when the woman, who is 42, in a fit of rage filed a case of 'dowry harassment' against her jobless live-in partner, who is 51, alleging that he was physically assaulting her.

The woman, a multi-purpose health worker with a government hospital with a decent monthly salary of Rs 20,000 (especially in the context of a small town like Mahbubnagar), even moved out of the house with the child.

With sections 498 A, 506 and 509 of IPC pressed against him, the man moved the AP High Court seeking anticipatory bail stating that the charges were invalid since the two were never legally married. And then he served a googly — he filed a simultaneous petition seeking maintenance of Rs 8,000 from his live-in partner of 10 years.

When the case first came up for hearing at the High Court a few days ago, the counsel representing the man referred to a recent Supreme Court judgment wherein the apex court had granted alimony to a woman in a live-in relationship from her partner citing that the number of years the two had put together were 'considerable', akin to a marriage. The man in this case has now pinned his hope on the apex court verdict with his counsel arguing how he too has put in 10 years of his life into this relationship and is thus a 'considerable' time period for him to earn his alimony from the earning partner.

In the first hearing, the HC judge had asked the man's counsel to look into the merits of the case himself and also consider whether the SC judgment can apply here, given the difference in the gender of the alimony seeker.
A similar case was filed by a Tamil Nadu resident Kalaiselvan who had sought a whopping Rs 25 lakh from his ex-wife, a news story that flashes on many websites catering to aggrieved husbands. But the judgment on the case is awaited.

On Tuesday, the HC posted the Mahbubnagar man's alimony petition case for its next hearing on July 30. Clearly, an unusual gender test for the AP High Court.

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