Guidelines issued to determine the true financial capacity/status of the parties in matrimonial cases, the modified guidelines are at par with the Best International Practices with respect to the disclosure of assets and income in a matrimonial dispute. The Hon’ble Court held in Kusum Sharma vs. Mahinder Kumar Sharma [FAO 369/1996] by Justice J.R. Midha.
This case has formulated some guidelines regarding the affidavits related to income, assets of the parties which were modified in 2017, and is again being modified to make it more comprehensive.
The guidelines for disclosure are as follows:-
- A salaried person has to disclose his employment details including salary, D.A., commissions, incentives, bonuses, perks, perquisites, other benefits, Income tax, etc.
- A self-employed person is required to disclose the nature of business/ profession, share in the business, the net worth of the business, number of employees, annual turnover/gross receipts, gross profit, Income Tax, net income and regular monthly withdrawal/drawings from the business
- Disclosure Income from other sources including income from other sources, namely, agricultural income, rent, interest on bank deposits and other investments, dividends, mutual funds, annuities, profit on the sale of movable/immovable assets, etc.
- Immovable property like financial assets including bank accounts, DEMAT accounts, safety deposit lockers; investments including FDRs, stocks, shares, insurance policies, loans, foreign investments needs to be disclosed.
- Disclosure of movable assets including motor vehicles, mobiles, computers, laptops, electronic gadgets, gold, silver, and diamond jewellery, etc. and intangible assets; garnishee(s)/trade receivables; corporate/business interests; disposal and parting away of properties; properties acquired by the family members, inheritance.
- Disclosure of standard of living and lifestyle- credit/debit cards, membership of clubs and other associations, loyalty programs, social media accounts, domestic help and their wages, mode of travel in the city and outside the city, category of hotels, category of hospitals for medical treatment, frequency of foreign travel, frequent flyer cards, the brand of the mobile, wristwatch, pen, expenditure ordinarily incurred on family functions, festivals and marriage of family members, etc., expenditure on housing, household expenditure, maintenance of dependents, transport, medical expenditure, insurance, entertainment, holiday and vacations, litigation expenses, discharge of liabilities, etc.
These modified guidelines shall apply to all matrimonial cases including cases under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; Section 125 Crpc; Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956; Special Marriage Act, 1954; Indian Divorce Act, 1869; Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.
In matrimonial cases, the Court has to ascertain the financial capacity/status of both the parties for fixing maintenance.
Judgement reviewed-Sarita Kumari