Income of a man's family can decide maintenance, says HC
MUMBAI: The joint family finances of a man can be considered while determining the quantum of maintenance to be paid to his estranged wife, the Bombay high court has ruled in a case involving a 31-year-old Pune businessman.
Hiking eight-fold the maintenance the businessman, Amar Shejare, must pay his estranged wife Seema and their minor daughter to Rs 20,000 a month from Rs 2,500, a division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Amjad Sayed said, "Considering the lifestyle of the Shejare family, it would necessarily follow that the income of (Amar) was substantial." The judges added, "(Amar) had substantive income and considering the holdings of the joint family, he is capable of paying the monthly maintenance to the wife and the minor daughter." The court also directed Amar to pay an additional Rs 10,000 to his wife towards legal costs.
Amar had contended that the property was owned by his joint Hindu undivided family. "We are conscious of the fact that Shejare is one of the coparceners (joint heir in the family property) and will have only a share in the said income," the judges said, but pointed out that the family owned considerable property. (Names have been changed to protect the couple's identities.)