It is both a cultural practice and an obligation for women in India to serve their elderly mothers-in-law and grandmothers-in-law, the Jharkhand High Court observed, according to Live Law.

The court was hearing a plea filed by a husband against an order by a family court, which directed him to pay a sum of Rs 30,000 per month to his wife and Rs 15,000 to his son. The High Court held that the woman was not entitled to maintenance as she refused to live with her husband without reasonable cause.

The court, however, increased the maintenance amount for the son to Rs 25,000 per month.

Justice Subhash Chand said it was unreasonable for the wife to insist on living separately from her in-laws.

The judge referred to Article 51A of the Constitution, which deals with the fundamental duties of citizens, one of which is “to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture”, according to Live Law.

“It is the culture in India to serve the old aged mother-in-law or grandmother-in-law, as the case may be, by the wife, in order to preserve this culture,” the court said.

The wife had left her matrimonial home in 2018. The husband then filed for judicial separation under the Hindu Marriage Act, claiming that the wife had refused to take care of his mother and maternal grandmother and pressured him to leave the family home.

The woman, on the other hand, alleged that her husband and in-laws subjected her to cruelty and tortured her for dowry, reported Bar & Bench. However, the court said that she had no valid grounds to live away from her family.