Smt R Bhagya vs Sri S A Gangadhar
29 May, 2023
Bench: Hon’ble Alok Aradhe, Hon’ble Anant Ramanath Hegde
In the case of MFA No. 7124/2016 and MFA No. 7637/2016, the Family Court of Tumkur was tasked with addressing two intertwined legal matters involving maintenance and dissolution of marriage. The appeals were heard together, as the parties involved were the same. This blog aims to provide an analysis of the facts, arguments, and the court’s decision in both cases.
M.C. No. 5/2014 was filed by the husband, seeking maintenance from his wife after the amputation of his leg. He claimed to be incapable of earning due to the disability and requested a monthly maintenance amount. However, the wife contested the petition, denying the allegations and stating that the husband was driving an auto-rickshaw and had income from family properties.
On the other hand, M.C. No. 36/2013 was filed by the wife, seeking dissolution of the marriage on grounds of cruelty and desertion. She alleged ill-treatment, assaults, and demands for dowry by her husband. The husband, in his defense, denied the allegations and argued that the wife left his company after his leg was amputated, thus deserting him.
Arguments and Court’s Findings:
In M.C. No. 5/2014, the Family Court granted a decree of maintenance, ordering the wife to pay Rs. 3,000/- per month to the husband. However, the wife appealed against this decision, asserting that the husband was still capable of earning and had income from family properties. The wife’s counsel contended that the Family Court should not have awarded maintenance in the absence of evidence proving the wife’s independent income.
The husband’s counsel defended the judgment and maintained that the amputation of his leg rendered him unable to earn, making it the wife’s responsibility to support him financially. They also claimed that the wife had an independent source of income.
The appellate court analyzed the evidence presented and found that the husband had not produced any records to support the claim that the wife had independent earnings. While the court acknowledged that the husband had purchased an auto-rickshaw two years after his leg was amputated, indicating some income, it concluded that there was no evidence to establish the wife’s earning capacity. Consequently, the court set aside the judgment and decree of maintenance, finding it unsustainable.
Moving on to M.C. No. 36/2013, where the wife sought dissolution of marriage, the Family Court had dismissed the petition, stating that there was insufficient evidence of cruelty and desertion. The wife appealed, arguing that the court had erred in assessing the evidence and failed to draw the inference that her husband’s insistence on dowry constituted cruelty. The husband’s counsel contended that the wife had deserted him without any valid reason, emphasizing their previously cordial relationship and the wife’s departure following his amputation.
Upon reviewing the evidence, the appellate court observed that the relationship between the husband and wife had been cordial until the amputation occurred. It noted that minor disagreements or differences of opinion did not amount to cruelty. The court found no evidence of ill-treatment after the amputation, which could establish cruelty as grounds for divorce. Similarly, it concluded that the wife had left the husband’s company without reasonable cause, indicating a lack of desertion on the husband’s part. The court found no valid grounds to interfere with the Family Court’s decision, thereby dismissing the appeal.
The case discussed above involved complex issues surrounding maintenance and dissolution of marriage. The court’s decision was based on a thorough analysis of the evidence presented in both cases. While the husband’s claim for maintenance was rejected due to insufficient evidence of the wife.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREEYA S SHEKAR