A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of Justice AK Menon and Justice AS Oka rejected an application seeking enhancement in amount of maintenance, which was filed by a resident of Nariman Point saying that “we do not find there is any case for enhancement of maintenance given the financial background of the respondent and the facade that she has no income of her own.”
The woman was granted the divorce by a Bandra court in 2002 and it had directed the husband to pay Rs. 25,000/- per month to the woman. In addition, the husband was to pay Rs. 25,000/- per month for expenses relating to their daughter.
However, the woman thereafter approached the Bombay High Court with a prayer that the maintenance be enhanced to Rs. 75,000/- per month, considering the fact that her ex-husband is extremely wealthy. Meanwhile, during the course of proceedings, the Court discovered that the woman herself was a wealthy person being the managing director of businesses in Singapore and lived at her parents home in Nariman Point, while also having other assets.
The Court also observed, “we are of the light of the statement of the learned Counsel for the husband. the view that the Respondent is entitled to continue to receive maintenance of Rs.25,000/- per month for herself and further sum of Rs.25,000/- per month for maintenance of her daughter Ayesha. In addition to these amounts, the Respondent and the Petitioner will share equally the daughter’s education expenses. The Respondent’s lifestyle does not appear to have undergone any major change after she has stopped cohabitation with the Petitioner. She has continued to holiday abroad. She has also made several incorrect statements as to the need for medical treatment and cost of treatment.”
However, it decided not to interfere with the family court order which had provided a maintenance of Rs. 25,000/- per month to the woman.
The High Court reportedly said, “the woman is self-sufficient, wealthy and financially independent. She had deliberately suppressed her assets and income from her businesses...keeping her financial status in mind, we do not find there is any ground for her to seek an enhancement.” It also directed the husband to share half of the expenses in education of their daughter, who is studying abroad.
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Read the Judgment here.