AIDWA Welcomes Reforms In Maintenance Law

3 June, 2001 Author
THE All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has welcomed the initiative taken by the union law minister Arun Jaitly, to implement the long pending recommendations for reforms in Section 125 which relate to maintenance for women and children. The proposals made by him and reportedly approved by the cabinet for interim maintenance to women within two months of the application, as well as for removal of ceilings on the amount of maintenance (linking it to her spouse's income) will certainly help them and their children in such circumstances.
The AIDWA is of the opinion that this clause can be further strengthened. It is necessary that, in the event of conflicting assessments of a husband's income, the law should take the claim made by the wife as correct and shift the onus of disproving it on to the husband. This will ensure that the spirit of the amendment proposed by the minister, which is to ensure a fair share of the income earned by the husband as maintenance, is not violated because of any loopholes in the manner of assessing incomes. The AIDWA feels the present disqualifications for receiving maintenance should also be reviewed and appropriate changes made.
The propasals are certainly a step forward in the struggle for legal reform. The AIDWA has expressed hope that the other recommendations made by the Law Commission, the National Commission for Women as well as by women's organisations on important issues will also be addressed. These issues include strengthening of laws against child sexual abuse, against domestic violence, for equal property rights and joint matrimonial property.