17 Sep 2023 3:30 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court recently granted relief to the daughter of a former High Court judge, enhancing monthly maintenance payable to her by her husband to Rs. 1.5 lakh.Relying on Apex court judgments, Single bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that when the husband is or has been in the realm of luxury lifestyle, the wife and their son cannot be left in the lurch.The Court rejected...
The Karnataka High Court recently granted relief to the daughter of a former High Court judge, enhancing monthly maintenance payable to her by her husband to Rs. 1.5 lakh.
Relying on Apex court judgments, Single bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that when the husband is or has been in the realm of luxury lifestyle, the wife and their son cannot be left in the lurch.
The Court rejected the appeal preferred by the husband challenging the family court order directing him to pay Rs 75,000 per month to his wife. Further, it partly allowed the wife's plea seeking enhancement of maintenance. It observed,
“The husband is undoubtedly doing well for himself with five Companies in his kitty, and documents are produced which would demonstrate that the Companies are doing well and the loan that is projected is taken only after initiation of proceedings for grant of maintenance by the wife. If the facts in the case at hand are considered, the wife would become entitled to enhancement of maintenance not to the extent of enhancement sought at 2,00,000, per month, but is entitled to enhancement by 75,000, over and above what is granted by the concerned Court.”
The couple got married back in 2001 and had a child who is currently 21 years old. As their relationship floundered, many proceedings were initiated by the couple against each other. The wife also filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act seeking interim maintenance at Rs. 2 lakh per month and education expenses for their son, following which the impugned order was passed.
The husband argued that grant of Rs. 75,000 itself is on the higher side, as he has no capacity to pay such amount on account of his Company's debt. An affidavit was filed indicating his monthly expenditure at over Rs. 10 lakh. He further contended that the wife herself has started her own business and is in a position to maintain herself.
The wife on the other hand contended that maintenance will have to be awarded to maintain the lifestyle that the husband had given to her when she used to live with him. She submitted their son is now 20 years old and pursuing his education, hence Rs. 75,000 maintenance is inadequate.
Upon perusing the statement of husband's income, the High Court said, “If the husband can maintain fleet of cars and claim that a loan amount of Rs. 7,72,000/- goes for the business purpose towards a loan that is taken after initiation of several proceedings by the wife against the husband, in the considered view of this Court, it would not absolve the husband to maintain the wife and the son.”
Court reiterated that maintenance payable to wife is not for mere existence and if the husband has been living a good life, the wife cannot be asked to lead a life which is lower. “Due regard should be had to certain relevant factors like social status of the parties and the kind of life that the wife and son were living while they were all staying together. It is not a luxury lifestyle that can be demanded by the wife,” it said.
Apart from enhanced maintenance, Court said wife would also be entitled to educational expenses of the child and litigation expenses.
Case Title: ABC AND XYZ
Appearance: Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari for Advocate Naveen Chandra V for Appellant.
Senior Advocate K.Suman for Advocate Siddharth Suman for R1