The Supreme Court of India has set a benchmark of alimony for ex-husbands who will have to pay 25% of their net salary to their estranged wives every month.
According to a report by The Times of India, a bench of Justices R Banumathi and M M Santanagoudar made the observation while directing a West Bengal resident to pay Rs 20,000 to his wife as alimony who earns Rs 95,527 per month.
The apex court turned down the man's plea that the amount was excessive. The court said the amount of maintenance or permanent alimony must be sufficient to ensure that a woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband, the report adds.
The bench said, "Twenty-five per cent of the husband's net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the (former) wife. The amount of permanent alimony awarded to her must be befitting the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay maintenance, which is always dependant on the factual situation of the case... and the court would be justified in moulding the claim for maintenance passed on various factors."
Earlier in March, a man was sent to jail for two months by Delhi High Court for violating a Supreme Court order asking him to pay Rs 1 lakh interim alimony to his estranged wife.
The Delhi high court had held the man guilty of contempt of court while considering his "contumacious conduct" and said his conviction was needed to "uphold the majesty of law", dignity of courts and sanctity of judicial proceedings.
Justice Manmohan had rejected the man's plea that he was unable to pay the monthly maintenance, saying the photographs placed on record indicate that he was maintaining a lavish lifestyle.