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While awarding maintenance, the Court has to consider the status of the parties, their respective needs, and the capacity of the husband to pay: High Court of Delhi

Where the husband fails to produce any documentary proof with regard to his employment status and also his actual income by not disclosing his source of income, the husband is trying to defeat the legitimate right of the wife to claim maintenance and also shirking his responsibilities. While awarding maintenance, the Court has to consider the status of the parties, their respective needs, capacity of the husband to pay having regard to his reasonable expenses for his own maintenance and those he is obliged under the law and statutory but involuntary payments or deductions and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Mukta Gupta in the case of SH.BHAGWAN DASS vs. SMT. POONAM & ORS [CRL.REV.P. 357/2020] on 28.01.2022.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner seeks setting aside/modification of the judgment directing the petitioner to pay a maintenance of ₹3000 per month to the respondent till her life time or she gets remarried after divorce from the petitioner. The petitioner was further directed to pay an amount of ₹4000/- per month to the respondent and ₹6000 per month with effect till the date of majority of this child. The petitioner was also directed to pay an amount of ₹7500 to each of the three respondents as litigation expenses for the period of litigation.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner had clearly stated and filed a reply stating that he was able to earn ₹4000 per month at the time of filing reply to the petition and presently, he was earning ₹16,000 per month and thus, he is not in a position to pay the amount directed vide impugned order as the same was beyond his income and assets.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the petitioner has neither filed his bank statement nor his income tax returns as he does not pay the income tax. However, from the life style of the petitioner and according to the findings of the learned Additional Principal Judge, Family Courts assessing his income at ₹35,000 per month.

According to facts and circumstances, Court disposed of the suit on terms that ₹35,000 per month is a fair assessment of the plaintiff’s income according to his lifestyle and in absence of his bank statement or his income tax returns.

The Court observed that, “where the husband fails to produce any documentary proof with regard to his employment status and also his actual income by not disclosing his source of income, the husband is trying to defeat the legitimate right of the wife to claim maintenance and also shirking his responsibilities. While awarding maintenance, the Court has to consider the status of the parties, their respective needs, capacity of the husband to pay having regard to his reasonable expenses for his own maintenance and those he is obliged under the law and statutory but involuntary payments or deductions.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

 

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