Karnataka High Court: Single educated mothers can’t be forced to work.

In an interesting observation made by the Karnataka High Court, it has been stated that a single mother who has to take care of her infant child cannot be burdened to work even if she is educated.
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure says that a person “unable to maintain themself” does not necessarily mean that they are “unable to earn a living, destitute or physically disabled”. While widening the interpretation of the section, the court said that a mother with a young child would not be able to take up a full time job and take care of the child at the same time. Her “capacity to be employed” does not solely depend upon her education, in an attempt to disentitle her from receiving maintenance.
The judgment by J. Raghvendra S. Chauhan is pursuant to an appeal that was filed by a man from an order of a family court asking him to pay maintenance to his wife. The husband claimed that his wife had an M.Com degree and had worked even before and after marriage. Getting a job should not be a task for her.
The court while rejecting the application held that education itself does not guarantee a job. This statement is in consideration with the rampant urban unemployment. Adding to this, the court said that burdening a single mother to rush back and fro from her workplace to take care of her young child would be unreasonable to ask of this court. One has to also keep in mind her position in the society as a separated parent.


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