The Madras High Court on Thursday said family courts should not mechanically award spousal maintenance to the wives in divorce cases and should refrain from treating the husbands as “armless soldiers”, The Times of India reported.

Justice RMT Teekaraman said that the fact that the courts should also consider that the man has to take on the financial burden for his aged parents. “The husband has been fastened with statutory objections to look after and maintain not only his wife but also his parents under the very same Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” the bench said.

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by one Varadharajan who was directed by a family court in Chennai to pay Rs 7,000 per month as alimony to his wife and daughter. He had claimed that his monthly salary was Rs 10,300 and that he had to also look after his 75-year-old father, The New Indian Express reported.

In a revision petition, Varadharajan had requested the High Court to reduce the liability. “The trial court ought to have weighed the entire circumstances and placed reasonable assessment financial burden on the shoulder of the husband,” the High Court said.