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No free pass for diabetes: Court dismisses husband’s attempt to evade maintenance

diabetes order

Justice Krishna S Dixit observed that the petitioner failed to demonstrate that his health conditions were unmanageable even with proper medical care. Consequently, the court found the petitioner’s argument baseless and devoid of merit, leading to its rejection

The High Court of Karnataka in Bengaluru has rejected a husband’s attempt to use his diabetes and related health issues as an excuse to evade paying maintenance to his wife. Justice Krishna S Dixit dismissed this contention, emphasizing that modern medical advancements have made managing such ailments feasible for a vast number of people worldwide

Justice Dixit observed that the petitioner had not demonstrated that these conditions were unmanageable with proper medical care. Therefore, the court found the petition devoid of merit and rejected it.

Four months ago, the petitioner, Ananth Kumar, had approached the court in response to a Family Court ruling in Shivamogga that had favored his wife’s application for monthly maintenance of Rs. 10,000. The petitioner’s counsel strongly opposed this decision, arguing that his client lacked the means to make regular payments. The counsel pointed out that the respondent-wife was gainfully employed and did not require maintenance, despite having custody of their minor son.

After hearing the arguments, the court on August 8, said that the marriage’s validity was not under dispute, and there was no disagreement about the child’s legitimacy. The court said that the law, religion, and justice obligate able-bodied individuals to support their dependent families, a principle reflected in various legislative acts.

The court observed that when questioned about the petitioner’s failure to make any maintenance payments for years, the petitioner’s counsel could not provide a satisfactory explanation.

“When this court posed a question as to why all these years petitioner has not made any payment towards the maintenance of minor son, there is absolutely no plausible explanation offered by his counsel,” the court said.

The court rejected argument that the award of Rs. 10,000 per month as maintenance is in excess of what is required.  

“The contention that petitioner has been suffering from diabetes and related ailments does not merit countenance. A large section of people all over the world suffer from such ailments and with the advancement of medical science, all that is manageable. It is not the case of the petitioner that the same are not manageable with proper medical care,” the court said.

Between 2019 and 2021, 31 million Indians were diagnosed with diabetes. according to a study by Indian Council of Medical Research. Goa (26.4%), Puducherry, and Kerala (nearly 25%) have reported the highest diabetes prevalence.

Also Read : 100 million people in India living with diabetes: Lancet study