Karnataka High Court modifies maintenance orders: husband’s disability sparks arrears directive.

Case title: Smt. Priyanka Singh Vs. Sri. Pankaj Singh Sengar

Case No.: Writ Petition No.48615 OF 2013

Decided on: 05.04.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice M. Nagaprasanna


The case involves Sri Pankaj Singh Sengar, a 39-year-old individual who is 75% disabled and unable to work due to a stroke. His wife has filed a petition seeking maintenance of Rs.19,04,000 from his father, citing the petitioner’s disability as the reason for the claim. The petitioner’s employment history reveals that he was relieved from Textron India Private Limited in 2015 due to his disability, further emphasizing his inability to work. Writ petitions have been filed under Articles 226 and 227 concerning maintenance and execution orders related to the case. A disability certificate issued by NIMHANS has confirmed the petitioner’s 75% disability, providing medical evidence to support his condition.


The legal provisions involved in the case include Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, which are being invoked in the writ petitions filed. Additionally, the case pertains to maintenance laws, likely under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, which govern issues related to maintenance in cases of domestic violence.

The guidelines for assessing specified disabilities under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, as notified by the Government of India, are also relevant in evaluating the petitioner’s disability status and its implications on the case.


The detailed contention of the appellant, Sri Pankaj Singh Sengar, revolves around his 75% disability status, which renders him unable to work and earn income. His legal counsel argues that due to his disability, the petitioner is not an able-bodied person capable of maintaining his wife and child. The appellant emphasizes that the maintenance claim of Rs.19,04,000 by his wife would impose a significant financial burden on him, considering his disability and inability to secure employment. The appellant’s legal team asserts that the orders sought by the wife cannot be justified, given the petitioner’s medical condition and financial constraints resulting from his disability.


The detailed contention of the respondents, represented by the wife, focuses on the husband’s alleged abandonment of the wife during her pregnancy and his refusal to provide maintenance for her and their child. The wife’s legal counsel argues that the husband’s disability should not exempt him from his responsibility to provide maintenance, especially considering the wife’s qualifications and ability to earn income. The respondents assert that the husband’s disability does not absolve him of his obligation to support his family financially, and they seek an appropriate order enhancing the grant of maintenance to cover the wife and child’s needs.


The court conducted a detailed analysis of the case, considering the husband’s 75% disability and his inability to work due to a stroke. It acknowledged the wife’s qualifications and employment as a teacher, highlighting her ability to earn income. The court also reviewed the disability certificate issued by NIMHANS, confirming the husband’s disability status. After careful consideration of all factors, the court made the following judgments:1. Writ Petition No.48615 of 2013 was rejected, with the father of the husband directed to fulfill arrears of maintenance until the date of disability.2. Writ Petition No.41607 of 2017 was partially allowed, restricting the maintenance order to the date of the husband’s disability.3. Writ Petition No.41608 of 2017 was allowed, quashing the order passed in Execution Petition No.152 of 2015.The court’s decisions aimed to balance the financial responsibilities of the husband, considering his disability, while also recognizing the wife’s ability to earn income and support herself and their child.

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Judgement reviewed by – Ayush Shrivastava

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