Wife’s interim maintenance cannot be denied even if she is capable of earning and is a working professional: High Court of Delhi

Judicial discipline circumscribes the Court from interfering in an Order rendered by the Courts below and only justifies interference if the Order is egregious in nature and suffers from legal perversity was upheld by the High Court Of Delhi through the learned bench led by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD in the case of Jaspreet Singh Vs. Swaneet Kukreja (CRL.REV.P. 162/2021 & CRL.M.As. 5576/2021, 8691/2021) and Swaneet Kukreja Vs. Jaspreet Singh (CRL.REV.P. 194/2021)  on 28.02.2022.

Brief facts of the case are that CRL.REV.P has been filed by the husband challenging the Order dated 06.03.2021 wherein interim maintenance of Rs. 1,25,000/- was awarded to the wife and minor child CRL.REV.P.194/2021 has been filed by the wife challenging Order dated 06.03.2021 seeking an enhancement of the interim maintenance that was awarded.

Due to differences that cropped up between the husband and wife, the wife has been residing separately from the husband since July 2016, along with their minor child. An application seeking interim maintenance had been been filed by the wife Vide order dated 21.02.2018, the Ld. M.M. granted interim maintenance of Rs. 45,000/- per month, in addition to education expenses of the minor child. Both the parties filed cross-appeals against this Order dated 21.02.2018 before the Ld. ASJ. Vide impugned Order dated 06.03.2021, the Ld. ASJ allowed the appeal of the wife and enhanced the interim maintenance from Rs. 45,000/- per month to a total of Rs. 1,25,000/- per month. Aggrieved by the Order dated 06.03.2021, the husband and wife approached this Court by way of cross-appeals seeking revision of the impugned Order.

The learned Counsel for the husband has stated that the interim maintenance amount of Rs. 1,25,000/- per month is an oppressive amount, especially in view of the fact that the husband has been unemployed since August 2020 and has been unable to secure a job.

The learned Counsel for the wife has stated that the impugned Order dated 06.03.2021 is bad in law as well as facts as it fails to take into account the true earning of the husband and has only calculated the interim maintenance of Rs. 1,25,000/- based on the lower level of the income in the ITR documents of the husband.

In view of facts and circumstances, court held that the enhanced maintenance that has been awarded vide impugned Order dated 06.03.2021 is in the form of interim maintenance. The High Court cannot substitute its own conclusion to the one arrived at by the Courts below who have rendered their decision after considering all the material on record.

The Court observed that “the Ld. ASJ has correctly noted that even if it is proved that the wife is capable of earning and is a working professional, it is still no ground to deny her interim maintenance. Therefore, the direction of Rs. 1,25,000/- being paid per month as interim maintenance, with the wife and minor child receiving Rs. 62,500/- each, is an appropriate amount, considering the income of the husband. This Court finds no merit in the submissions of either the wife or the husband challenging the said Order and, therefore, does not deem it fit to interfere in the impugned Order dated 06.03.2021.”

Click here to read the Judgement

Written by- Riya Singh, Legal Intern, Prime Legal


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