In the absence of an agreement between the parties, and when the husband and the wife are both gainfully employed at two different places from before their marriage, where will be the matrimonial home after the marriage?
Did the wife have a reasonable excuse to withdraw from the society of the husband?
Paragraph 442 of Mulla’s Hindu Law, confers upon the wife the duty to reside with her husband and under his authority, and states that the husband is obliged to maintain her. The court stated that, a custom can only become enforceable when it is predominant in society, applicable to the concerned m parties, and coherent with the evolving times. It’s true the male is usually expected to be the wage earner in family but with changing times, more and more number or women taking up jobs and being independent, it was unreasonable and against public welfare to expect a working woman to leave her job at her husband’s demand in order to reside with him when he himself is financially unstable.
Article 14 gives the right to equality to all and to give the husband an exclusive right to decide upon the matrimonial home would be discriminatory against women and also against the spirit of Article 14. Thus, this custom of the wife giving up all her rights and submitting to the demands of the husband was no more applicable to the parties in this particular case taking into account the developments in society.