Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at
Justice K Chandru
Justice K Chandru

CHENNAI: No law yet on division of marital property during divorce

Q: I filed a domestic violence case against my husband early this year. On the second appearance, my advocate submitted the statement of income and expenditure but my husband’s party didn’t submit the same. I have proof of my husband’s income as a veterinary doctor and other income from inherited properties. But on the second date, the judge has given the order for submitting an affidavit of my income prior to my marriage and has also sought statements from my previous employers. My question is if a woman has quit a job, however lucrative it may be, on fixing the marriage then is it fair to probe her past income while considering alimony? — Name withheld on request

A: We are yet to make a law on the division of “matrimonial property” at the time of separation of couples. Therefore while ordering alimony to the woman, the judge has to take into account all relevant circumstances, including the relative stability of the parties. If your husband do not file proper statement of accounts, nothing prevents you from filing the materials regarding the same gathered by you. You can also administer interrogatories to your husband to admit those details before the court.

Idea to use temple funds on maintenance may not work

Q: The Madras HC had issued a set of protocols to be followed for the maintenance and protection of historical monuments and ancient temples. Since most temples are making decent earnings from devotees’ offerings, can’t temple funds be first used for temple maintenance, conducting festivals and pay the staff before being used for other purposes specified under the HR&CE Act? — Sukumar, Erode

A: Only a few temples are patronised by devotees and have fabulous income. Eighty 80 per cent of temples do not have income even to carry out day-to-day activities. The government has made deposits to those small temples under the scheme of conducting vilakku pujas. Many temples may have landed properties but the income derived is very little. Maintenance and repair works of the heritage structures are highly expensive. Most of the time government allots funds for such purposes. Your idea to spend amounts on maintenance before other expenditure may not work. Similarly, the demand to hand over the temples to the devotees also may not help in upkeep and maintenance of the temples going by the past experience. The solution can be that devotees patronise their local temples and derive spiritual satisfaction rather than thronging the so-called powerful and ‘boon-giving’ temples.

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