Madras HC Upholds Wife’s Right to Husband’s Salary Information for Maintenance Claim

LI Network

Published on: January 22, 2024 at 11:00 IST

The Madras High Court has ruled that a wife is entitled to be informed about her husband’s salary to substantiate her claim for maintenance.

The Court dismissed a petition filed by the husband challenging the State Information Commissioner’s order directing the disclosure of specific basic service details to his wife.

Justice GR Swaminathan emphasized the importance of transparency in matrimonial proceedings regarding the husband’s earnings, stating that such knowledge is integral to the fair adjudication of maintenance claims.

“The quantum of maintenance payable to the fourth respondent will depend upon the salary received by the petitioner. Unless the fourth respondent knows the quantum of salary received by the petitioner, she cannot make her rightful claim,” observed the court.

In the ongoing matrimonial proceedings between the petitioner and the fourth respondent, the latter sought maintenance and requested specific basic service details related to the petitioner from his employer. However, due to the petitioner’s objections, the employer declined to provide the information.

The State Information Commissioner then directed the employer to furnish the requested information, a decision that the petitioner contested in the writ petition.

The Court upheld the decision, citing the case of Sunita Jain v Pawan Kumar Jain and Others, and affirmed the wife’s right to information about her husband’s remuneration. Considering the nature of the case, the Court stated that the fourth respondent required crucial details, specifically the petitioner’s salary, to substantiate her rightful claim for maintenance.

As a result, the court dismissed the petition, affirming the wife’s entitlement to knowledge about her husband’s salary for maintenance purposes.

Case Title: VA Anand v The State Information Commissioner

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