Deductions such as PF/LIC premium can’t be considered while calculating husband’s salary in determining quantum of maintenance: Karnataka HC

Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court: While considering the instant petition wherein a husband had challenged the quantum of maintenance passed by Mysuru Family Court on the ground that the maintenance amount granted to the wife and child was excessive; the Bench of Hanchate Sanjeevkumar, J.*, dismissed the petition stating that while appreciating and calculating salary/income of the husband vis-à-vis determining maintenance amount, deductions such as provident fund contribution, house rent recovery, LIC premium and festival advance etc., cannot be considered. The Court cautioned that if consideration of such deductions is allowed, then in every petition filed under Section 125 of CrPC there would be tendency by the husband to create artificial deductions making an attempt to show lesser take-home salary with an intention to mislead the Courts so as to avoid giving maintenance or an attempt to award lesser amount of maintenance.

In the instant matter, the wife and husband had been living separately on account of allegations of cruelty and ill-treatment by the husband. Therefore, to maintain herself and their daughter, the wife filed for maintenance under Section 125, CrPC and Mysuru Family Court granted maintenance amount of Rs.15,000 to the wife till her lifetime or till she remarries and Rs.10,000 to the daughter till her marriage along with cost of litigation of Rs.10,000.

Aggrieved with the afore-stated order, the husband challenged the same in the instant petition. He contended that though his gross salary as a Branch Manager in State Bank of India is Rs 94,840 per month however after deduction of Rs 23,812.17, the take-home salary of the husband is Rs 77,816 per month. Therefore, the husband submitted his inability to pay the ordered maintenance amount to his wife and daughter.

Perusing the contentions of the husband, his annual salary and compulsory deductions such as professional and income tax, the Court noted that deductions such as provident fund contribution, LIC premium and festival advance etc, are all deductions accruing to the benefit of husband. The Court stated that these amounts cannot be made deductible while considering for assessment of maintenance amount.

The Court further stated that while determining maintenance amount, if it is found that husband has submitted artificial deductions such as under the above-mentioned heads, then Courts must consider the entire evidence on record on all its preponderance of probabilities while awarding quantum of maintenance amount.

In the instant case, the Court found that the deductions in the salary as shown by husband was more than 50%, hence, it was clear that the husband had made an arrangement to show more deductions with an intention to pay lesser amount of maintenance. Therefore, the said deductions cannot be the factor to award lesser quantum of maintenance to the wife.

With the afore-stated analysis, the Court held that the husband is receiving a lucrative salary as Branch Manager and is financially capable to maintain his wife and daughter; therefore, the impugned order of the Family Court, Mysuru does not require interference.

[X v Y, 2024 SCC OnLine Kar 16, decided on 08-02-2024]

*Order by Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For petitioner- Vishwanath Kanavi, Advocate

For respondents- Narasimha Murthy K., Advocate

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One comment

  • The Courts should look at statutory(PF) and mandatory (LIC policy) deductions which cannot be treated as part of take-home income corpus. This will be unfair. The Courts should not aggravate problems of equitable considerations.

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