Del HC | Interim maintenance enhanced; husband duty bound to maintain wife as per his status

Delhi High Court: Suresh Kumar Kait, J. while deciding the petition enhanced the interim maintenance amount to be paid to the wife and directed the trial court that while deciding the DV Act petition finally, it shall take into consideration all the facts and circumstances and the fact that how much the petitioner is earning from all sources.

Petitioner in the present petition sought the setting aside of impugned judgment and order passed by Special Judge – NDPS/learned Addl. Sessions Judge and the order passed by Metropolitan Magistrate.

The petitioner is earning an amount of Rs 10,000 and the Trial Court directed the petitioner to pay Rs 10,000 in favour of the respondent which was not possible for the petitioner and the Appellate Court failed to consider this fact. Counsel for petitioner relied upon the case of Manish Jain v. Akanksha Jain, (2017) 15 SCC 801, wherein it was held that,

“The Court must take into consideration the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay maintenance and whether the applicant has any independent income sufficient for her or his support. Maintenance is always dependent upon factual situation; the Court should, therefore, mould the claim for maintenance determining the quantum-based on various factors brought before the Court.”

Respondent had filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 before the Metropolitan Magistrate alleging cruelty and torture towards the respondent along with the payment of dowry against the petitioner and his family members.

It is further stated that, petitioner is a known businessman in Lucknow and usually deals with his business in cash and he is also one of the biggest suppliers in Lucknow who earns around Rs 2 lacs/day. The petitioner and his family, who are co-accused in the present case, have also invested Rs 5 crores with local builders and the same is dealt under the name of ‘Nirman Traders and Engineers’.

Adding to the above, it is stated that it is further stated that the petitioner has produced a fake rent agreement showing as if he was living in rental accommodation on 2nd Floor of House No. 2, Shriram Puram Maharishi Tiraha, IIM Road, Lucknow, however, the truth is that there is no 2nd Floor in the said building at all.

In view of the above, Court stated that, Petitioner has committed perjury by stating the said fact before the Trial Court whereas he is not residing there and the address is fake. Thus, the court directed the Trial Court to issue proceedings against the petitioner under Section 340 CrPC.

Court noted that If a person is in business and dealing in cash, it will be difficult to establish how much earning such a person has. However, the Court can assess the income by taking into consideration the standard of living and what he was earning before separation from the wife. It seems the petitioner is in the car trading business. In addition, he is looking after the family business. Thus, on the conservative side, he is earning at least Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per month.

Hence the Court held that, the respondent is legally wedded wife of the petitioner and is duty-bound to maintain her as per his status. In the present day, Rs 10,000 is a meager amount awarded by the Trial Court, to maintain as per standard of the husband.

Thus, while dismissing the present petition, High Court enhanced an amount of Rs 20,000 per month, as interim, to be paid from the date of filing of the DV Act petition. [Abhishek Dubey v. Archana Tiwari, CRL.REV.P. 944/2019 & CRL.M.A. 35385/2019-delay, decided on 15-10-2019]

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    Im suffering from domestic voilence by my husband. Plz help me

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