In a suit of maintenance, if the parties fail to disclose documents that validate their claims, the lower court can rightly dismiss the petition. This was decided in the Joint Case of Samina & Ors.Vs. Syed Asim Pasha And Syed Ashim Pasha State of Delhi At New Delhi & Ors [CRL.REV.P. 17/2021 & Crl.M.A. 767-68/2021] by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait in the High Court of Delhi.
The brief facts of the case are that marriage between the parties was solemnized as per Muslim law. Husband is said to be a permanent resident of Hyderabad and an Engineer by profession. Wife is also said to be a highly educated woman but unemployed. Out of this wedlock, parties are blessed with two daughters. However, the marriage between the parties did not work and they started living separately. The husband has alleged that despite repeated requests, wife has refused to return to the matrimonial house, whereas the wife has alleged that her husband under a conspiracy brought her and the two daughters to Delhi to meet her parents and left them there and thereafter, put a condition that she should come back only if she brings Rs.5 Lacs from her parents.
The court observed that the requirement is to determine is as to whether there is any illegality or perversity in the impugned order awarding maintenance to the wife and if it is exorbitant or on the lower side, as claimed by the parties. With respect to the quantum of maintenance, the wife has claimed that the husband is an Engineer and earning Rs.2 Lacs p.m. and he has no other liability except to maintain her and two daughters. She has claimed monthly expenditure of Rs.50,000/- for herself and Rs.20,000/- each for two daughters. 7.
On the other hand, husband has claimed that the wife is a well-educated lady and an international player in shooting and is an international Coach and she imparts training and is earning Rs.25,000/- p/m. In addition, he has Crl. Rev. P. 298/2020 & Crl.Rev. P.17/2021 Page 4 of 6 claimed monthly expenditure of Rs.28,000/- towards household, transport, medical and health club.
The court observed that the order passed by lower court included maintenance of Rs.12,000 to wife. However, the affidavits filed are silent about furnishing of copies of income tax returns, salary receipt or even bank statement of the parties. Neither of the party brought any document on record to establish their case. The husband has failed to bring on record any proof with regard to employment of the wife. Similarly, wife has failed to prove that husband is earning a handsome amount, however, she seeks maintenance. Both the parties did not reach the court with clean hands and have not disclosed true facts with regard to their income and expenditure, as observed by the court below. IT said “In the absence of documentary evidence on record, the only option left with the trial court was to determine maintenance keeping in mind the totality of circumstances.”
The court said the trial court had relied upon decision of the Supreme Court in Jasbir Kaur Sehgal vs. District Judge, Dehradun (1997) 7 SCC 7 and observed “that parties in matrimonial disputes always try to mislead the court and furnish incomplete details and conceal the true facts specifically with regard to employment” income and that the courts have to resort to the status and life style of parties for fixing the maintenance. Thus the court did not interfere in the order and dismissed the petition