New Delhi, April 21: Supreme Court has set a benchmark saying that 25% of husband’s net salary might constitute a "just and proper" amount as alimony. The court said that the amount of maintenance or permanent alimony must be sufficient to ensure that a woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband.A bench headed by Justices R Banumathi and M M Santanagoudar made the observation while directing a resident of West Bengal's Hoogly, earning Rs 95,527 a month, to set aside Rs 20,000 as maintenance for his former wife and their son, turning down the man's plea that the amount was excessive.
"Twenty-five percent 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 dependent on the factual situation of the case and the court would be justified in moulding the claim for maintenance passed on various factors," the bench said.
This decision came after the man's plea challenged a Calcutta high court order directing him to pay her Rs 23,000 per month. Though the apex court said there was nothing amiss in the high court order, it reduced the amount by Rs 3,000 on the ground that the man had remarried and hence needed to provide for his new family.