Case Title – Dheera N.G. & Anr. v. Simesh S. and Simesh S. v. Dheeran N.G. & Anr.


Case No – RPFC NO. 30 OF 2023

Date – 5/06/2023

Facts of the Case-

  1. The revision petitioners filed MC No.183/2018 before the Family Court, Ernakulam, seeking maintenance allowance. The first petitioner (wife) requested Rs.20,000/- and the second petitioner (son) requested Rs.7,500/- as monthly maintenance.
  2. The Family Court ordered monthly maintenance at the rate of Rs.4,000/- for the first petitioner and Rs.2,000/- for the second petitioner.
  3. The revision petitioners were dissatisfied with the quantum of maintenance ordered and filed a revision petition (RP(FC) No.30/2023).
  4. The respondent filed RP(FC) No.71/2023, challenging the finding regarding his liability to pay maintenance.
  5. The first petitioner suffered from Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which left her paralyzed from the waist down. She incurred substantial medical expenses, which were settled through crowdfunding as the respondent did not provide financial support.
  6. The respondent claimed that he was kept away from the situation by the petitioner’s family when they started receiving contributions for her treatment. He also filed an original petition seeking divorce, stating that the first petitioner’s illness rendered her unable to fulfill the duties of a wife and that continuing the marriage amounted to cruelty.

Judgement –

  1. The original petition for divorce filed by the respondent was dismissed, and the maintenance petition filed by the wife and son was allowed, ordering maintenance at the rate of Rs.4,000/- and Rs.2,000/-, respectively.
  2. The revision petitioners argued that the maintenance amount ordered was inadequate considering the first petitioner’s medical condition and the educational and other needs of the second petitioner.
  3. The court considered the objective of Section 125, which is to alleviate the suffering of destitute wives and children, and referred to relevant judgments to support the contention that the husband’s means should be taken into account.
  4. The court found that the respondent neglected and refused to maintain the petitioners and that the first petitioner and the child did not have the means to support themselves.
  5. The respondent, who worked as a head load worker/packer, claimed he did not have sufficient means to pay the claimed maintenance amount, but the court rejected this argument based on his admission of earning additional income through overtime work.
  6. The court referred to previous judgments that held an able-bodied husband has the capacity to earn enough to meet the expenses of his wife and that a husband’s claim of having no source of income does not absolve him of the duty to maintain his wife.
  7. Considering the first petitioner’s medical expenses and the second petitioner being deprived of his father’s care and affection, the court determined the maintenance amounts. It fixed the monthly maintenance allowance at Rs.8,000/- for the first petitioner and Rs.4,000/- for the second petitioner.
  8. RP(FC) No.71/2023 filed by the respondent was dismissed, and RP(FC) No.30/2023 filed by the revision petitioners was disposed of by enhancing the monthly maintenance allowance.
  9. The respondent was granted two months to pay the arrears of maintenance at the enhanced rate. If the payment is not made within the given time, the petitioners can approach the Family Court for execution of the order.

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