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A deserted wife has to earn enough to sustain herself to be denied maintenance, the Supreme Court has ruled. Dismissing an appeal by Chaturbhuj of Madhya Pradesh, who had married Sita Bai but later separated, a bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Aftab Alam said though the appellant (husband) had placed material to show that his estranged wife was earning some income, it was insufficient to rule out application of Section 125 CrPC. He has to establish that with that amount she (wife) was able to maintain herself. The court said essential conditions for applicability of Section 125 CrPC, which provides for maintenance to wife and children are: Burden placed upon the wife to show that the means of her husband are sufficient and the wife proving she was unable to maintain herself.

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