Saturday, July 26, 2014

Decide maintenance amount afresh, says Delhi court

Decide maintenance amount afresh, says Delhi court

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  July 25, 2014 

A sessions court here has directed a magisterial court to decide afresh the maintenance amount awarded to a woman and her children in a domestic violence case after her husband claimed that his total income was less than the awarded sum. 

A direction to this effect was given by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Gautam Manan to a magisterial court. 

The judge allowed the man's appeal challenging the magisterial court's order directing him to pay Rs 5,000 per month in maintenance to his estranged wife and his children, saying the magistrate had not considered the proof about the woman's income and assets while fixing the amount. 

"I find that the trial court has passed the orders awarding maintenance without considering the proof of income of the respondent (woman)and her financial assets, if any. 

"Before passing the orders of the maintenance, the trial court ought to have directed both the contesting parties to disclose their income and assets on affidavits...Hence the orders suffers from material irregularity and is set aside," the ASJ said. 

The judge directed the magistrate to re-decide the quantum of maintenance after taking the affidavits of the parties (man and woman) and after giving due consideration to their rival contentions in respect of their earnings. 

The man, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, had challenged the January 2014 order of a metropolitan magistrate on the ground that his total monthly income was less than the awarded maintenance amount and hence he was incapable of paying it every month. 

He had claimed that he was living in a remote village, 1000 km away from Delhi, and that his wife had already taken away sufficient jewellery and clothes with her. 

He also claimed that he was ready to keep his wife in his house but despite his repeated requests, she had refused to stay with him. 

The ASJ, while allowing the man's appeal, noted that his wife had not said anything in response.