BENGALURU:The Karnataka High Court has said it is not for the husband to decide as to what mode of transport the wife should take to attend a divorce hearing. If the wife decides to travel by air, and not by train, the husband cannot escape his liability to pay the “requisite travelling expenditure” just because wife merely happens to be a ‘housewife’, it said while hearing a matrimonial dispute.
Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan made this observation in the judgment dated April 26, and dismissed the husband’s petition challenging the order of a family court which directed him to pay travel expenditure of `32,114 to his wife on February 1, for attending the hearing of the family court on February 1 and November 3, 2017 in Bengaluru.
According to the order, 37-year-old Raj Gupta and 34-year-old Gowri Bansal (both names are changed) were married on June 30, 2009 in Meerut. However, during the course of the marriage, the couple had differences. Finally, Gupta filed for divorce before the family court on April 4, 2016 in Bengaluru. Gowri was living in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, she filed a transfer application before the SC, which dismissed it on July 10, 2017, observing that she can claim ‘requisite expenditure’ when she is required to travel to attend the case. Therefore, during the pendency of the divorce petition, Gowri filed an application for claiming travel expenditure and the court allowed it.The court said, “The plea terms the housewife as ‘free’. Such a contention merely shows the lack of understanding about the work being carried out by “the housewife.”